Special Issue "Commemorative Issue Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: Understanding and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease"

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Neurology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 March 2023 | Viewed by 8240

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Allison B. Reiss
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
NYU Long Island School of Medicine, Mineola, NY, USA
Interests: Alzheimer’s disease; neurodegenerative disorder; rheumatoid arthritis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Aaron Pinkhasov
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, NYU Long Island School of Medicine, Mineola, NY 11501, USA
Interests: dementia; delirium; geriatric psychiatry; psychosomatic medicine; psychopharmacology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by acognitive decline affecting memory, planning, problem-solving, language, and activities of daily living. Hallmarks of the disease are the accumulation of amyloid-β peptide and hyperphosphorylated tau protein in the brain. Unfortunately, immune-based therapies targeting these proteins have been disappointing, and there is no cure. The principal risk factor for AD is age, and as the population grows older, the global prevalence will increase dramatically. AD is, therefore, an urgent public health problem.

In this Special Issue, we encourage the submission of manuscripts on any aspect of AD diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment. We welcome original studies, reviews, and opinion articles. This Special Issue will focus on hot topics related to AD, bring in experts in the field to discuss current therapeutic approaches, as well as novel treatments under development. The diagnosis, predictive tools and molecular mechanisms of disease pathophysiology are also of great interest. The importance of lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity is also recognized. This Special Issue in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America will provide a state-of-the-art overview of this subject, which will serve as a valued point of reference for geriatricians, neurologists, internal medicine physicians, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, molecular biologists and healthcare workers.

Dr. Allison B. Reiss
Dr. Aaron Pinkhasov
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Medicina is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • tau
  • amyloid
  • mitochondria
  • treatment
  • neuron
  • dementia
  • pathophysiology
  • neuroimaging
  • neuroplasticity

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Perspective: Challenges in Dementia Research
Medicina 2022, 58(10), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58101368 - 28 Sep 2022
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Although dementia is a common and devastating disease that has been studied intensely for more than 100 years, no effective disease modifying treatment has been found. At this impasse, new approaches are important. The purpose of this paper is to provide, in the [...] Read more.
Although dementia is a common and devastating disease that has been studied intensely for more than 100 years, no effective disease modifying treatment has been found. At this impasse, new approaches are important. The purpose of this paper is to provide, in the context of current research, one clinician’s perspective regarding important challenges in the field in the form of specific challenges. These challenges not only illustrate the scope of the problems inherent in finding treatments for dementia, but can also be specific targets to foster discussion, criticism and new research. One common theme is the need to transform research activities from small projects in individual laboratories/clinics to larger multinational projects, in which each clinician and researcher works as an integral part. This transformation will require collaboration between researchers, large corporations, regulatory/governmental authorities and the general population, as well as significant financial investments. However, the costs of transforming the approach are small in comparison with the cost of dementia. Full article

Review

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Review
Informal Caregiving and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Psychological Effect
Medicina 2023, 59(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59010048 - 27 Dec 2022
Viewed by 920
Abstract
Background and Objectives: People with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in general benefit from home-based care as demonstrated via their better quality of life, increased lifespan, and delayed disease progression. Since currently nearly half of the dementia care is being provided by informal [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: People with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in general benefit from home-based care as demonstrated via their better quality of life, increased lifespan, and delayed disease progression. Since currently nearly half of the dementia care is being provided by informal and unpaid caregiving, the health, wellbeing and quality of life of informal dementia caregivers is extremely important. Materials and Methods: We used a systematic review process with searches based upon the six elements from the “Quality of Life Scale for Informal Carers of Older Adults” with additional items on traditional and non-traditional caregiving ideologies, as well as caregivers’ experiences. Results: We identified 19 studies with primary data. Informal caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease experience significant emotional strain, documented through increased levels of anxiety and depression, as well as increased caregiver burden and poorer quality of life, primarily due to caregiving ideologies, financial strain and a lack of support. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that caregiving should be a normative component of adult education to better prepare individuals with the mental and physical skills required for undertaking informal caregiving. They should also help inform policy makers to develop novel programs and services to both assist and reduce informal caregivers’ strain, whilst considering their different social and cultural contexts. Full article
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Review
How Telemedicine Can Improve the Quality of Care for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias? A Narrative Review
Medicina 2022, 58(12), 1705; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58121705 - 22 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Dementia affects more than 55 million patients worldwide, with a significant societal, economic, and psychological impact. However, many patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other related dementias have limited access to effective and individualized treatment. Care provision for dementia [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Dementia affects more than 55 million patients worldwide, with a significant societal, economic, and psychological impact. However, many patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other related dementias have limited access to effective and individualized treatment. Care provision for dementia is often unequal, fragmented, and inefficient. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated telemedicine use, which holds promising potential for addressing this important gap. In this narrative review, we aim to analyze and discuss how telemedicine can improve the quality of healthcare for AD and related dementias in a structured manner, based on the seven dimensions of healthcare quality defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), 2018: effectiveness, safety, people-centeredness, timeliness, equitability, integrated care, and efficiency. Materials and Methods: MEDLINE and Scopus databases were searched for peer-reviewed articles investigating the role of telemedicine in the quality of care for patients with dementia. A narrative synthesis was based on the seven WHO dimensions. Results: Most studies indicate that telemedicine is a valuable tool for AD and related dementias: it can improve effectiveness (better access to specialized care, accurate diagnosis, evidence-based treatment, avoidance of preventable hospitalizations), timeliness (reduction of waiting times and unnecessary transportation), patient-centeredness (personalized care for needs and values), safety (appropriate treatment, reduction of infection risk),integrated care (interdisciplinary approach through several dementia-related services), efficiency (mainly cost-effectiveness) and equitability (overcoming geographical barriers, cultural diversities). However, digital illiteracy, legal and organizational issues, as well as limited awareness, are significant potential barriers. Conclusions: Telemedicine may significantly improve all aspects of the quality of care for patients with dementia. However, future longitudinal studies with control groups including participants of a wide educational level spectrum will aid in our deeper understanding of the real impact of telemedicine in quality care for this population. Full article
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Review
Plants, Plants, and More Plants: Plant-Derived Nutrients and Their Protective Roles in Cognitive Function, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Other Dementias
Medicina 2022, 58(8), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58081025 - 30 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, with the risk of developing it attributed to non-modifiable and modifiable factors. Currently, there is no cure for AD. A plant-based diet may protect against cognitive decline, due to the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, with the risk of developing it attributed to non-modifiable and modifiable factors. Currently, there is no cure for AD. A plant-based diet may protect against cognitive decline, due to the effects of plant-based nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. The aim of the review is to summarize current literature on plant-based nutrients and their impact on cognition. Materials and Methods: A search was conducted on PubMed for clinical and murine studies, using combinations of the following words: “Alzheimer’s disease”, “dementia”, “cognition”, “plant-based diet”, “mild cognitive impairment”, “vitamin B”, “vitamin C”, “vitamin E, “beta carotene”, “antioxidants”, “fiber”, “vitamin K”, “Mediterranean diet”, “vitamin D”, and “mushrooms”. Results and Conclusions: A diet rich in vitamin B and antioxidants can benefit the cognitive functions of individuals as shown in randomized clinical trials. Vitamin K is associated with improved cognition, although large randomized controlled trials need to be done. Fiber has been shown to prevent cognitive decline in animal studies. Vitamin D may contribute to cognitive health via anti-inflammatory processes. Several medical organizations have recommended a plant-based diet for optimizing cognitive health and potentially helping to prevent dementia. Full article
Review
Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease: Context of Use, Qualification, and Roadmap for Clinical Implementation
Medicina 2022, 58(7), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58070952 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1837
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a biomarker as a characteristic that is measured as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or responses to an exposure or intervention. Biomarkers may be used in clinical care [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a biomarker as a characteristic that is measured as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or responses to an exposure or intervention. Biomarkers may be used in clinical care or as drug development tools (DDTs) in clinical trials. The goal of this review and perspective is to provide insight into the regulatory guidance for the use of biomarkers in clinical trials and clinical care. Materials and Methods: We reviewed FDA guidances relevant to biomarker use in clinical trials and their transition to use in clinical care. We identified instructive examples of these biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) drug development and their application in clinical practice. Results: For use in clinical trials, biomarkers must have a defined context of use (COU) as a risk/susceptibility, diagnostic, monitoring, predictive, prognostic, pharmacodynamic, or safety biomarker. A four-stage process defines the pathway to establish the regulatory acceptance of the COU for a biomarker including submission of a letter of intent, description of the qualification plan, submission of a full qualification package, and acceptance through a qualification recommendation. Biomarkers used in clinical care may be companion biomarkers, in vitro diagnostic devices (IVDs), or laboratory developed tests (LDTs). A five-phase biomarker development process has been proposed to structure the biomarker development process. Conclusions: Biomarkers are increasingly important in drug development and clinical care. Adherence to regulatory guidance for biomarkers used in clinical trials and patient care is required to advance these important drug development and clinical tools. Full article
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Review
The Knowledge and Attitudes of Primary Care and the Barriers to Early Detection and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease
Medicina 2022, 58(7), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58070906 - 07 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1536
Abstract
Primary care physicians play a vital role in the clinical care of their patients, early identification of dementia, and disease advocacy. It is essential to assess the knowledge and attitudes of physicians in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In primary [...] Read more.
Primary care physicians play a vital role in the clinical care of their patients, early identification of dementia, and disease advocacy. It is essential to assess the knowledge and attitudes of physicians in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In primary care, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is often missed or delayed. With the increased prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and the growing impact of dementia on health care resources, early detection by primary care physicians (PCP) is essential. Thus, their knowledge and attitudes about early detection and diagnosis are crucial. To examine the knowledge and attitudes of primary care physicians regarding early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and how barriers may contribute to missed and delayed detection and diagnosis. An interpretive scope review was used to synthesize and analyze a body of literature published over the past decade. The study population are physicians in the United States. The current health systems experience challenges in providing early, safe, accurate, and comprehensive Alzheimer’s diagnosis and care by a primary care physician trained or knowledgeable in diagnosing the various forms of dementia. This article identifies several interrelated obstacles to early detection and diagnosis in primary dementia care, including gaps in knowledge, attitudes, skills, and resources for person with dementia (PWD)/caregivers and their primary care providers and systematic and structural barriers that negatively impact dementia care. Research shows that Alzheimer’s disease has gone underdiagnosed and undertreated. Delays in detection, diagnosis, and resource utilization may have social and clinical implications for individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease and their families, including challenges in obtaining an accurate diagnosis. Until the issues of missed and delayed Alzheimer’s screening become more compelling, efforts to promote early detection and diagnosis should focus on the education of physicians and removing the barriers to diagnosis. Full article
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