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Brain Health Round-Up: Hope for People Affected by Brain Disease

Brain Health Round-Up June 2021

A bipartisan bill, genetic therapies, and music are beacons of hope in this month’s brain disease research round-up

When it comes to brain disease, studying the whole brain makes a whole lot of difference. All brain diseases are interconnected. Taking the American Brain Foundation’s holistic approach to brain disease research means improving the lives of all those affected. This month, find out how a bill aimed at reducing medical complications for people with Alzheimer’s, a study on genetic therapies for incurable neurodegenerative disease, and music are bringing hope to those fighting for life without brain disease.

Sen. Stabenow introduces new bill aimed at improving care for Alzheimer’s patients

Ninety-five percent of individuals with dementia have one or more chronic conditions, such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. To help them, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act bill. It aims to reduce medical complications for Alzheimer’s patients by creating a new way to fund dementia care through Medicare. The bill would certainly help the one in 10 seniors across the United States who currently live with Alzheimer’s. Read more about how this bill seeks to improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Genetic therapies offer new hope against incurable brain diseases

For incurable brain diseases including Huntington’s, a fatal, genetic neurodegenerative disease without treatment options, and spinal muscular atrophy, an inherited neurodegenerative disease that typically affects infants, outcomes have seemed hopeless for so long. Now, many researchers see a path to potential treatments for these diseases in drugs known as antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs). However, progress on research in this field has slowed. A large phase III trial exploring these drugs in relation to Huntington’s abruptly halted this year because the benefit did not outweigh the risk. Here’s why scientists are looking to ASOs for answers to treat these diseases and the next steps following pausing the study.

The Positive Benefits of Music for People with Dementia

Research supports the idea that music is good for the brain. It can also help relieve symptoms such as depression and anxiety. In addition, they can facilitate meaningful changes in the disease’s trajectory for people with dementia. Groups like Music Mends Minds are working to help form bands for people with neurodegenerative brain diseases, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and posttraumatic stress disorders. Discover how virtual sing-alongs are helping engage people with dementia.

The American Brain Foundation believes that, one day, we can live in a reality without brain disease—and it all starts with funding research to discover cures. To support our work of connecting scientists with donors, make your gift today.