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Brain Health Round-Up: Improving Patient Outcomes

March 2021 Brain Health Round-Up

Here’s how a new genetic disorder, COVID-19, and incredible discoveries about Alzheimer’s disease are making waves in brain disease patient care

The groundbreaking research presented in these four articles shows exactly what we mean when we say that all brain diseases are interconnected. Finding a cure for one will lead to cures for many. From how a genetic disorder that affects the brain offers insight into other disorders to the lasting effects COVID-19 can have on the brain, here are the recent hot topics in brain disease news.

How COVID-19 Attacks The Brain And May Cause Lasting Damage

There was early evidence that COVID-19 may be able to affect the brain. But it wasn’t until scientists studied the brain tissue of a patient with COVID-19 after their death that they could confirm this theory. Now, we know the body’s response to the virus can cause symptoms that include forgetfulness, seizures, and even psychosis. Doctors say many affected patients will recover fully from these symptoms, but some are likely to face long-term disability.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s prescription for fighting off dementia

Recent research shows that changes in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s disease begins decades before actual symptoms arise. That’s why CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, renowned neurosurgeon, and 2021 Commitment to Cures honoree Dr. Sanjay Gupta shared his insight on how people can create more “cognitive reserves” and extend brain health. One of them? Regular exercise.

Dr. Gupta also sat down with Brain and Life® Magazine to speak more about brain health. He also talked about his bestselling book Keep Sharp. Read more here.

Research Says Alzheimer’s Is Actually Three Distinct Disease Subtypes

A groundbreaking update from research done to the postmortem RNA sequencing in Alzheimer’s patients shows the disease comes in three major molecular subtypes. Each of these subtypes present differently in the brain and hold a unique genetic risk. This discovery has the potential to tell doctors what patients are the most vulnerable to each subtype. It can also show how their disease may progress, and what treatments may suit them best. The findings promise to be “a critical step toward precision medicine for this devastating disease” and lead to better patient outcomes.

NIH researchers identify new genetic disorder that affects brain, craniofacial skeleton

The newly identified linkage-specific-deubiquitylation-deficiency-induced embryonic defects syndrome, or LINKED, may not only be essential for human development but also underlie other disorders present at birth. This discovery by the NIH promises to aid scientists in understanding brain diseases and improving patient care. Researchers hope the study can serve as a guiding framework for unraveling the causes of other undiagnosed diseases.

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.