References for "Biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease"

Aisen PS, et al. "Clinical Core of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative: Progress and Plans," Alzheimer's & Dementia (May 2010): Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 239–46. Alzheimer's Association. Proposed Revisions to Diagnostic Criteria for Alzheimer's Disease: Backgrounder/FAQ, available online at "Consensus Report of the Working Group on 'Molecular and Biochemical Markers of Alzheimer's Disease,' The Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute of the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institute on Aging Working Group," Neurobiology of Aging (March-Apr. 1998): Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 109–16. (Locked) More »

References for "Helping couples deal with medical challenges"

Baucom DH, et al. "Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy," in Gurman AS, ed. Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy (The Guilford Press, 2008). Fals-Stewart W, et al. "Behavioral Couples Therapy for Substance Abuse: Rationale, Methods, and Findings," Science and Practice Perspectives (Aug. 2004): Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 30–41. McLean LM, et al. "A Couples Intervention for Patients Facing Advanced Cancer and Their Spouse Caregivers: Outcomes of a Pilot Study," Psychooncology (Nov. 2008): Vol. 17, No. 11, pp. 1152–56. (Locked) More »

References for "Research suggests new drug targets for depression"

Berman RM, et al. "Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine in Depressed Patients," Biological Psychiatry (Feb. 15, 2000): Vol. 47, No. 4, pp. 351–54. Diazgranados N, et al. "A Randomized Add-On Trial of an N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Antagonist in Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Depression," Archives of General Psychiatry (Aug. 2010): Vol. 67, No. 8, pp. 793–802. Krystal JH. "Ketamine and the Potential Role for Rapid-Acting Antidepressant Medications," Swiss Medical Weekly (April 21, 2007): Vol. 137, No. 15–16, pp. 215–16. (Locked) More »

Biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease

The brain changes that lead to Alzheimer's disease probably begin years, and possibly even more than a decade, before symptoms such as memory impairment appear. For this reason, Alzheimer's researchers have long hoped to find biomarkers — early biological signs of disease pathology — that could help identify people at risk before symptoms develop. Heart disease provides one example of how biomarkers can be useful. Elevated levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol or total cholesterol, detected with a simple blood test, are biomarkers that indicate someone may be at increased risk of having a heart attack. Statins (anti-cholesterol drugs) reduce both LDL levels and risk of heart attack. As yet, however, there is nothing close to an Alzheimer's equivalent of a cholesterol blood test. The tests for two of the most promising categories of Alzheimer's biomarkers — brain imaging scans and spinal fluid sampling — are more cumbersome to perform than blood tests. Although the research on these biomarkers is interesting and may be promising, none are yet reliable enough to use in the clinical setting. Perhaps most significant for patients concerned about their own risk, no treatments are available to stop Alzheimer's disease progression. Although a number of "disease-modifying" compounds are under investigation, so far all have failed in the late-stage clinical trials that are necessary to prove efficacy. The most recent flop occurred in August 2010, when a drug company halted development of a compound known as semagacestat after patients with Alzheimer's participating in a clinical trial fared worse after taking the drug than those taking placebo. Still, the research on biomarkers continues because some investigators believe that the disease-modifying drugs must be given earlier in the Alzheimer's disease process to be effective. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen. (Locked) More »

Helping couples deal with medical challenges

Traditional wedding vows include a promise to stay together in sickness and in health. But cancer, heart disease, major depression, substance abuse, and other types of serious medical illnesses can create stress in a marriage or in any type of committed relationship. Illness affects not only the person who receives the diagnosis, but his or her partner as well. For example, a woman receiving treatment for breast cancer may be physically uncomfortable, constantly tired, and worried about her sexuality and body image. Likewise, a man undergoing treatment for prostate cancer may experience unpleasant side effects such as impotence and incontinence. Both are likely to worry about the future and their mortality. Although these concerns may surface at various times during cancer treatment, they can become especially troublesome once treatment ends, as couples make the transition to a "new normal." When the diagnosis is diabetes or heart disease, one or both partners may need to make significant lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, losing weight, and adopting new dietary habits. Although some couples function as a team in response to these challenges, others may find themselves at odds over food choices, leisure activities, and the like. Many couples are able to manage the challenges of illness reasonably well and can find ways to cope on their own, but some will need help. For those who do, couples therapy can enable partners to cope with the stress of medical illness or addiction. The methods are similar to those employed in individual therapy: interpreting emotional conflicts and the influence of the past; understanding fixed patterns of relating; encouraging insight and empathy into how those patterns may derive from early life experiences of each partner; assigning exercises for behavior change; challenging beliefs; offering advice, reassurance, and support; and teaching social skills and problem solving. All of these skills may be useful in helping couples to deal more productively with a serious illness. (Locked) More »

Research suggests new drug targets for depression

A small study found that people with major depression who received one dose of ketamine experienced a significant improvement in mood, but the results will be of interest mainly to researchers, because of how ketamine acts on the brain. (Locked) More »