Monthly E-News Update
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This holiday season, we have much to celebrate in our partnership with NARFE. On Nov. 22, NARFE National President Richard G. Thissen announced that cumulative member donations to the Association's NARFE-Alzheimer's Research Fund have topped the $12 million goal for the end of this year that was set at the 2014 NARFE National Convention. "I appreciate the efforts of all NARFE members who helped us reach this goal," Thissen said. "Our members' continued generosity shows our dedication to help all Americans and the world fight this terrible disease." The Alzheimer's Association is grateful to NARFE leaders and members for their generosity and determination in meeting this ambitious goal — and for the new goal of $13 million already set for 2018. We wish every NARFE member a happy holiday season, and we look forward to our continued partnership with you in the new year.
NARFE members fight Alzheimer's together
"All of our members know someone who has had Alzheimer's — a family member, friend or acquaintance — and many of our members have been Alzheimer's caregivers," said Thissen. "They know firsthand the toll Alzheimer's takes and how important it is to find a cure. We are proud to help fund vital research that will lead to a world without Alzheimer's." Since NARFE took on Alzheimer's as a national project in 1985, members have raised money through progressively higher cumulative fundraising goals. The donation program is strictly voluntary, and the total represents thousands of individual member donations and proceeds from hundreds of small fundraising efforts. Confident that the goal would be reached this year, members attending the NARFE National Convention in August 2016 set a new goal of reaching a cumulative total of $13 million in 2018.
NARFE sponsors studies aimed at moving dementia science forward
Findings from NARFE-sponsored studies have sharpened our understanding of how Alzheimer's begins and progresses in the brain and how the disease can be prevented and treated more effectively. To conclude our series begun in November on the impact of NARFE-sponsored studies over the years, here is a brief overview of the scientific progress made by recent grants supported by NARFE.
2013 IIRG (three-year grant) — Jorge J. Palop, Ph.D.
Cell-Based Therapy to Restore Brain Functions in Mouse Models

In Alzheimer's disease, a specific type of nerve cells called interneurons are selectively vulnerable to damage. The loss of a small number of these cells can disrupt the activity of nerve cell networks needed for memory and learning. The goal of Dr. Palop's research is to determine if transplanting new interneurons into the brains of Alzheimer's-like mice can restore the function of nerve cell networks and delay disease progression. Read more.
2013 NIRG (two-year grant) — Sara Gregory, Ph.D. (new PI: Beth Parker, Ph.D.)
Exercise Training and the Hippocampus in Subjects with Dementia Risk

The study led by Beth A. Parker, Ph.D. (formerly led by Sara Gregory, Ph.D.) is designed to explore how exercise may help prevent nerve cell loss in the brains of people at risk for Alzheimer's disease. Participants who have at least one parent with Alzheimer' disease (i.e., increasing the person's risk for Alzheimer's) will undergo a six-month aerobic exercise-training. Brain imaging will be used to measure changes in the structure and function of their hippocampus — a brain region vital to memory function that is damaged during the early stage of Alzheimer's disease. Read more.
2013 NIRG (two-year grant) — Hailan Yao, Ph.D.
Novel Mechanisms of BACE1 in Alzheimer's Vascular Pathogenesis

Research suggests that metabolic disorders, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, may increase one's risk for Alzheimer's disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). CAA is found in some people who have Alzheimer's and involves the buildup of beta-amyloid into the walls of the blood vessels that supply the brain. CAA can lead to blood vessel damage and impaired blood supply to the brain which may accelerate brain changes associated with Alzheimer's. Read more.
Together, we will realize our vision
The incredible complexity of the brain makes neurodegenerative disease especially challenging, and a wide range of dementia studies is increasingly vital to move the field forward. With the support of NARFE and many others who share our determination, the Alzheimer's Association has made great strides in Alzheimer's research, particularly in the advancement of early detection and diagnosis, drug development and prevention methods. We thank NARFE for its many years of partnership, generosity and dedication to the Alzheimer's Association and to our vision — now closer than ever before — of a world without Alzheimer's. For more information about the Alzheimer's Association's International Research Grants program, please visit //

Alzheimer's Association ready to work with new administration and 115th Congress
The Alzheimer's Association is ready for the next stage of advancing public policy to improve the lives of people impacted by Alzheimer's disease, working collaboratively with the Trump administration and the 115th Congress. "Alzheimer's and dementia are increasingly costly in human terms and the most financially costly of all diseases. We appreciate that President-elect Trump said early on in his campaign that Alzheimer's would be a 'top priority'. We will proactively work with the new administration to take on Alzheimer's," said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association. "We will also continue to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who recognize that their leadership can lessen the impact for the estimated 5 million plus who have it today in America, as well as their more than 15 million caregivers, and that they can ultimately change the very course of the disease forever, benefiting the millions and millions more who are rightly concerned." Read more.
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