Advances in Alzheimer’s Research and Treatments

The medical news is abuzz with allegations of falsified research, potentially throwing much of what scientists believed they knew about Alzheimer’s disease into doubt. But all is not lost, as research receives a much-needed cash injection, and new studies have been revealed.

Manipulated Photographs Jeopardizing Years of Research

Jack Miletic of Delray Beach says that it has come to light in recent weeks that photographs used in a 2006 study of proteins that are thought to be involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease had been manipulated at the time of their publication.

While it is not clear exactly how the images were altered, reports suggest that at least 50% of the images have been digitally manipulated, which could mean falsified research. While the manipulation of scientific results is already an unacceptable practice, the images were those used in a study which has been widely distributed, held to acclaim, and used as a benchmark for further research.

While some scientists are devastated at this blow, others have sought to reassure fellow professionals and the public alike that the field of Alzheimer’s research extends far beyond apparent discoveries linked to just one protein.

Abandoning Lab Mice in Favor of Primates

While the lab mouse has for decades been used as a live animal on which to perform research, recent studies have revealed that they are no longer considered suitable for Alzheimer’s testing.

Primate DNA, life span, and even cognitive ability is much closer to that of humans. Along with the fact that mice do not naturally contract Alzheimer’s disease, all signs point to using non-human primates in further research into the disease.

Whether mice continued to be used in such or similar studies or whether primates will replace them, the very subject of animal testing remains a highly contentious issue.

Center on Aging Secure Vital Grant

A project led by the team at the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has secured a grant of over $20 million from the National Institute on Aging, primarily to focus on promising research concerning cells called astrocytes.

These many-faceted cells deliver oxygen and sustenance to neurons and could be enhanced to restore this neural energy where it has otherwise been decimated by Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s remains mostly unresponsive to drug treatments, as well as being a disease whose cause is relatively difficult to pinpoint, so it remains at the forefront of the National Institute on Aging’s projects.

The welcomed funds are perfectly timed to allow researchers more time to follow what looks to be promising lines of scientific enquiry.

Jack Miletic of Delray Beach

Black Communities Encouraged to Participate in Alzheimer’s Research

Despite government figures revealing how Black Americans are around twice as likely to develop dementia, they are 35% less likely to be diagnosed, due to reluctance to enter medical trials.

African American hesitancy to participate in research stems from years of institutionalized racism in medical testing, including a 40-year project in Alabama which ended in the 1970s, during which time hundreds of black men were injected with syphilis.

Universities in Alabama are now making an active effort to encourage more African Americans into modern clinical trials for Alzheimer’s, to try and stem the tide of dementia in the community.


Ways to Keep the Spine Healthy While Aging

The spine is a vitally important part of the body that with age, can experience degeneration and weakening due to the physical demands of life.

There are various treatments for the spine that can improve one’s quality of life; treatments that focus on increasing/restoring range of motion, as well as making adaptations to the home to ensure that it is accessible and safe. Each patient is different and has different physical needs, so they should receive their own specific exercise prescription.

Are you wondering how to keep the back and spine healthy for yourself or a loved one? Jack Miletic, a spine physician at the Pain Institute in Orlando, Florida explains the different treatment options for maintaining a healthy spine while aging, below.

Increasing, Restoring and Maintaining Mobility

The first goal of any treatment program for the spine is to focus on increasing, restoring, and maintaining range of motion, flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, and balance. This can be done by a series of core stabilization exercises performed regularly and engaging in fitness programs that follow core-strengthening principles.

Stabilization of the spine is a process that starts by focusing on strengthening smaller muscles in the lumbar and neutral spine areas. By strengthening muscles in the lumbar area, rotational movement and balancing of the spine is improved. Through neutral spine stabilization exercises, coordination, endurance, and strength are improved.

Adaptations to Improve Home Accessibility and Safety

It is not only important to rehabilitate the aging spine, but to accommodate it in all areas of one’s life such as at work and at home. Begin by educating clients on how to properly bend over and lift heavy objects. These proper lifting and bending techniques are crucial to ensuring a healthy back and spine, especially in the later years of life.

Jack Miletic

Posture, Transfers and Walking Skills

Another aspect of treating the spine properly is to educate patients and clients on preventative care, such as sitting and standing correctly, moving properly to and from different positions, and walking correctly with good posture. Teaching patients about these techniques will help to prevent falls and future damage from occurring to the spine.

Increasing Fitness

Additionally, having clients increase their level of fitness, as well as implementing fitness programs that focus on building core strength can greatly increase overall patient strength and fitness, which directly benefits spine health.

Energy Conservation, Joint Protection, and the Need for Assistive Devices

Teaching patients different techniques that help to restore and utilize the energy in their bodies, protecting joints in the back, legs and hips, and using assistive devices if necessary can avoid further wear and tear on the spine.

Improving Sensation, Joint Proprioception and Reducing Pain

By focusing on improving sensation, joint proprioception and reducing pain, patients are better able to embrace their independence and thereby increase physical activity.

Improving these aspects allows clients to conserve spine health and engage in daily life events that might otherwise be too physically demanding.


To properly care for an aging spine, patients must focus on not only performing core-strengthening exercises but also engage in frequent physical activity that engages the core muscles. Additionally, it is useful to educate patients on how to properly move their bodies, use correct posture, and sit/stand with care as to not introduce more stress to the spine.

Conserving spine health is more than just increasing strength and improving posture; it also involves understanding where one’s body is in space, where key joints are located, and how to reduce pain and inflammation when it occurs. If needed, using the correct assistive devices, and making adaptations to the home can increase your chances of having a healthy spine for many years to come.