Dementia Resilience - 3.19.17

Sunday, March 19th


PART 1  - Dr. Huntington Potter

Jill Lorentz originally hails from the great farm country land of Illinois and has lived in Denver since 1984. When her mom was diagnosed with a form of dementia in the early 90's, Jill dedicated her life to learning about the disease, which lead to her career path of working with families and professionals who need assistance in this area as well. Believing caregivers can hold the key to setting the tone of emotional stability for the person with dementia, Dementia Resilience with Jill Lorentz sponsored by Belleview Heights Alzheimer’s Special Care Center will take an in depth look at how we can strengthen our techniques, strategies, and even our compassion to help people live with this disease; not to struggle with it. Our show's goal is to have a candid conversation about dementia and its effects on those it touches and to ignore ridiculous talk of a stigma attached to Alzheimer's. Resilience is your ability to adapt well and recover quickly after stress, by overcoming obstacles and adversity to find a positive outcome. People who have a resilient disposition are better able to maintain poise and a healthy level of physical and psychological awareness in the face of life's challenges. This 1/2 hour radio show, Sunday mornings from 10:00 -10:30 will explore avenues of intentional care and finding moments of joy while living with dementia. 

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome to dementia resilience we chill arrest sponsored by building heights alzheimer's special care center. A candid conversation as we learn about dementia and alzheimer's and it's effects on the people we love. Jill has years of dedication and experience help you adapt to recover and overcome obstacles and help find a positive outcome it's time for dementia resilience with the Jill Lawrence. Well welcome listeners sign of their buddies having a really nice weekend. I'm so excited today. My guest is doctor Huntington potter. She's got this wonderful introduction he is the professor of neurology and vice chair for basic research. Director of the Iraqi none alzheimer's disease sinner and a director of the alzheimer's disease program Linda cynic institute for Down's syndrome welcome. Well thank you show us see here so glad to have you you've got some exciting news and congratulations. I saw on nine news about two weeks ago they did a three day segment for you on some of the great processes you have going on with your clinical trials and it. You see and sheets. That's right and in fact we learned a lot in that three to a segment about alzheimer's disease. And about the University of Colorado in general so it was very insisting no segment that not only about what we're doing just. Excellent total listeners a little bit about yourself where you came from and when the alzheimer's research. Center opened in Aurora. Well I've been in Denver now for about four and a half years. And basically was recruited to start an alzheimer's center which you really didn't exist before before K. I had some experience and starting setters because we started one in Florida over a ten year period you seeing mostly state money. And to when we came here we had basically virgin territory to start a senator and recruit people and basically serves a community as a place where they can be assessed and treated. For alzheimer's disease and other similar cognitive problems. That's excellent we really didn't have that in about a five state region there. We're pretty much in the western area did we decide California crisis. That's correct in largely. People who went to bear the primary care physician and they didn't necessarily have an expert neurologist to assess them. And so this is really a new surface for the community. And I love it you know I have this in my family units we had a lot of conversations about that over the past years but you've got. Some really exciting news about your live kind trial. And the encouraging results are having could you tell our listeners a little bit about the. The shore. Luke kind. Basically grew out of finding some twenty years ago. The people with rheumatoid arthritis almost never get alzheimer's disease. They're the Texas brain and it wasn't clear why. It could have been that they take a lot of painkillers for their inflammation in their swollen joints. But when that was tried in clinical trials for the alzheimer's disease it didn't work what had to be something else okay. We thought that maybe they were inherently protected and we started looking for what was special about people with rheumatoid arthritis. And a protein called GM CSF. Was found to be increased in the blood of people with rheumatoid arthritis so we tried it in mice that have alzheimer's disease. And amazingly. One injection into the grain. One week later half of the amyloid deposits also damaged disease or Glock. That is amazing. That's amazing we've been waiting for some good hopeful news. That's right now mice are easier to were crucial to world of alzheimer's disease and people. Bernie nonetheless this was one of the most rapid reductions of of amyloid plaques that anybody had seen. And the exciting. X additional you know fact was it GM CSF was already a human drug. Called Luca and Bennett had been safely used to people for twenty years. Obviously not for alzheimer's disease don't follow that survived four bone marrow transplant. OK so you know it's a safe drug we know what's a safe drugs of any typical people. And the exciting news that we have now is that it looks like it's a safe drug in people with alzheimer's disease which was not a foregone conclusion. Excellent and I know you've got your fingers crossed on that because there have been a lot of drugs nearly 200 that it come. Through the market into research lab does have not been successful. But this one. Is looking pretty promising. It's looking promising with respect to safety and that's very important because most of the other. Drugs that get rid of amyloid deposits in mice and that are being tried in people. Do have fairly serious side effects such as swelling of the brain or bleeding into the grain cats really not very good. If it may be acceptable if it helps them with our alzheimer's disease but the thing about Lou kind uses doesn't seem to have those side effects. OK so the success of this drug is gonna depend on the ability didn't remove good. Plaques in the amyloid from outside the nerve cells is that correct. That's correct I can and the other potentially exciting thing about this drug is it seems in animal models to do more than just get rid of the it helps nerve cells make new connections. It keeps your cells from dying in certain circumstances. And it even allows the brain to make new blood vessels all of which is going to be very important for are really hoping to brain recover. From alzheimer's. That's outstanding. I wondered if you could give a little thought and we get a lot of questions about. And amended. Aris set and Exel one. Yes and their efficacy is questions at times and on how long does judge who work for people with alzheimer's. So. That isn't really me relatively short period I think. But you'd think Lou kind you might happen if a person if it's successful they might have to take it for a longer long period of time. Well that's a very interesting point these drugs that you mentioned are the only FDA approved treatments for people with alzheimer's disease. And unfortunately they don't work very well. So if you take them and and I sent another drug colon Esther ace inhibitor lie and you know ARRIS sapped. You might delay the decline by maybe eight year. Okay mom so convinced they're not useless they really do help slow the decline and and give you quality of life for a little bit longer. But they're not designed to attack the disease itself they're chest. Helping nerve cells that are still there were a little better. McCain and that's what you're hoping Lou kind will do it will not only remove the plaques that helped prepare the brink. Yes and removing the plaques for instance is not something that commando or terrorist act can do at all. If they did they would be attacking the disease but they just are crutches for the nerve cells that are left. Okay well that makes sense there are a lot of questions about that I think people don't understand. And they can often times put their loved ones on knees at third the three drugs I talked to about a minute ago. But X one or sept an amended for years and years and years I'm really hoping that you have. Good results with your steady with flu kind are you getting people involved in the study. We are we have many volunteers. Some of course don't qualify because for instance we can't really take somebody buys a pacemaker because we've got to do an MRI. And make sure that they're grain is healthy in order to do this study we have to make sure it's healthy at the end of the study. And if they have a pacemaker. Don't they can't have an MR. So there are occasional times when people can't qualify for the study the we've had many volunteers and that's really hopeful. Because. Alzheimer's disease is a collaborative research program not only do we collaborate with other scientists. But it community. Are collaborators also not only the patients whose he'll volunteer to be subject but their caregivers and died donors. The state. We're all in this together we can solve this together. Uh huh I sure hope so. Now I do have a question for you and I asked you this before but people might wanna know. We know that mine my families in the study and win my mom. For twenty years presented is so she had alzheimers. I would bet my life bonnet. But when she had her brain donated to science. When we got the autopsy back she had the towel tight she did not have a single plaque or tangle. And I expressed to you my a confusion over that. I know I'm going out on a limb here but. Do you think at some point Lou kind might work with the talent type are you looking his dad I know your your study is very focused but. What about people like me that. That are hopeful that you'll have success not only with the plaques and tangles that with the. Now we hope so too. And in fact. We have a special rat model of alzheimer's disease in laboratory. It gets the tau tangles as well as the amyloid. Deposits. And we're gonna try to kind special rat who kind of course okay those rats and and we'll see whether it it helps. But I'm very hopeful and the reason is that one of our discoveries along the way it was to people who had a bone marrow transplant because of leukemia. And had what we call chi lo green that is they say had some cognitive problems not quite dementia but that's the carpet to problem okay of the chemotherapy for. They were helped a lot by taking Luca. Can get it and they don't have family amyloid deposits they don't have how tangles they have nothing like alzheimer's disease it's a completely different problem can and who can't help them. So once we know that who kind might help people with alzheimer's disease we will certainly begin to try it in other people. Including for instance people with Down syndrome because as you mentioned I'm a member of the certainly institute for Down's syndrome people would Down syndrome all develop Alzheimer pathology in the brain. I think times are thirty or forty. Most of them get demented by fifty or sixty this might be drug for them to and possibly for your family. That is super exciting and I will be right at the front line that they are asking you might be part of your child. In divesting of authority. What do you challenges with this with distress with two with what you're doing out to level you're challenges right now. I think the main challenge is just the fact that clinical trials of drugs even when they're totally safe so far so just to kind are very expensive. See if we. Sort of treat people for six months. Maybe forty people total half with a placebo. For instance or third with a placebo. The total cost of that over the next couple years might be as much as four million dollars. And so we are very dependent on grants and donations and state funding to help us. Go investigate something like Luca. Okay what do you see for the future with the sun. Will you be able to get it out to the public. Ten years twenty years do you have any do you have a global that you did look in and Mick crystal globe and tell us what you think might happen or where your rack and. Well if if I had a crystal ball it's been very. You know ineffective. Since I've been predicting any treatment for alzheimer's. D.s in five years for the last twenty years. But in this case I think we're a little bit more hopeful because we already know it's a fairly safe drug in typical people who looks to be safe and people with alzheimer's disease. And and therefore we don't have to start from scratch we can actually try and no drugs in people and if it works. The FDA may be able to. He'll make it available. Commercially. Faster than if a war brand new molecule. That's excellent I did hear you say on the nine new segment that she thought it might cost as much as a 100000 dollars. Did you mean to get that process so people could actually. No that would see the cost of the drug. To be treated for a whole year for single individual own mind. But there's some work to be done there's some work to be gone 41 thing is the drug may be. Made a faster and easier. If there's a big market for it there could be competition which would reduce the the cost and and and there may be a variant which is cheaper and easier to me. Now that's awesome. And before we started the show you made a comment that I really appreciated that. Your research center out there is really open to the people of cholera rude comments they needed specialist. Yes it's called the memory disorders clinic it's part of the rocky mountain alzheimer's disease center and it's actually located in the University of Colorado hospital. So it serves the public. I you can make an appointment if you go onto the website for the Rocky Mount alzheimer's disease Senator McCain or Asher primary care if there care physician that make area you know recommendation. Can and and real experts who have a lot of experience what is it an anti union cognitive illnesses. And can look at you or your loved one and really tell you what. The problem is if the problem is also timers or something else which include meat and your family's race. And and what can be done OK and of course you have the opportunity to participate in research as one of our collaborators. And do they need to go on trial match to do better could they just call your institute out there and get on the list because they can just call the institute well that's outstanding. Hank I think we're gonna take a commercial break and thank you to build new heights or sponsor. And will be back in just a minute with doctor Huntington potter. Making a decision to place your loved one in the care of others is one of the most difficult decisions you'll ever have to make. If that's Simmons specialist in your life and is meaning memory care W heights is the place to call home. Bellevue heights part of the JEA's senior living family is deeply committed to serving people living with alzheimer's and other related dimensions. Bellevue heights believes that supporting families and caregivers is just as important as caring for our residents we offer free monthly support groups. Education and lecture series and presentations by experts in alzheimer's and dementia care. All of our programs are free and open to the public. Called LV heights at 3036900700. To learn more about the high standard of individualized care. They can offer your loved one. And ask the matter current and upcoming education opportunities and support groups. Well you heights alzheimer's special care center is located at 14 or 500. East Bellevue avenue in Aurora. Busy JEA's senior living dot com or call 3036900700. To schedule a tour come on to Stanley. Come home to Bellevue heights. Welcome to dementia resilience we chill arrest sponsored by building heights alzheimer's special care center. A candid conversation as we learn about dementia and alzheimer's and its effects on the people we love. Jill has years of dedication and experience help you adapt to recover and overcome obstacles and help find a positive outcome it's time for dementia resilience with the Jill Lawrence. Welcome back to listeners what a beautiful Sunday we've got doctor Huntington potter the director of the alzheimer's research center at University of Colorado and she its location. Happy to have you here today thanks Joseph and glad to be back. We've been talking about your new studies with blue kind and some of the progress that your making and some of the challenges that you still have ahead that is exciting news and glad to have you here talking about it I think. You know people tell mile time I should say that this disease disease has no cure and that we need to find a a world it's not out alzheimer's some day I want you to know. That aside from the people in your lab your colleagues and the international research body. In your family I think I might be your biggest fan. Well I do agree that. I was hoping to tell my grandchildren someday. That I needed a man that came up with a cure for alzheimer's and got a hold it to add a de gras but you don't of course we all work together it's and I won their eyes so we deal I just have a little fun with the but I think I think it's important for the people of Denver to support what you're doing. And I wanna support which are doing and I want our blisters to get involved it's not enough to just sit there and in your homes and say geez I hope for a world without alzheimer's Sunday. If they want to actually participate in this they can help you whipped. The dot research dollars or something unique bright. Oh absolutely and I'm not only from the listeners that you have but their friends their families and did their politicians their representatives in congress. They've been very generous in Colorado and the national congress in Washington is increasing funding all of which is absolutely essential for us to solve this. Now unbelievable. Essential. And in addition to your live kind studies you are actually doing some match studies. Yes who of course and the reason is that. Lou kind looks very promising. But it's really the first bug on our rose bush. And not anywhere if you use the rose bush all kinds of things at the base and what's happening in the lab. Is it new ideas are being tested daily to see if they generate a via a direction that we can take for developing and other drugs. So we do have other drugs in the laboratories that are being tested. And will eventually be tested in the mice and rats that have alzheimer's disease and then the very best ones and only the best ones can we afford to try and people. Oh sure and you've got a real stringent program that you have to follow. From the FDA just to make sure that everything you're doing with your trials is safe. That's absolutely right you know we are very careful not to mistreat the mice by. Mice are different than people and if one of them get sick because of a new drug. We know at a time that we shouldn't try that in people. And that's very very important on a very telling here and and and then when we get the best drugs. Then we can try it did in people and of course the study and in in people is much more expensive than the study. In the test to for advice so we start small. We tie our ideas to test tubes that we try and then Petri dishes with cells that we try and in the mice and rats and only the best ones are venues in a clinical. How many people do you have are are you gonna happen you're trying to give the country out for example. But it was there to cause reforms of the loop current trial one is ongoing right now. Which is essentially safety trial okay we've. Looked at about twenty people so far half of will move with flu kind of half of without can look safe. We want to study another twenty people. And they get to do kindly if they get it or the placebo for about three weeks OK but we just applied and received funding from the Alzheimer's Association very generously million dollars axle to extend this trial to six shots and so we would be looking at about forty people for six months two thirds of them would get flu climbed 13 would get a placebo. And million dollars is a lot of money and we're very very grateful but it probably would cover only about a third of the total cost home while I will have to apply for other fights. Yes and I know that you sit in your office more probably been. I would like YouTube because we went to in the lab writing grants don't change don't we yes that's one of my main responsive absolutely much that's a difficult process here. You're trying to go against other labs to get. Money. Yes then and only the best projects. Can be funded and so it's a competition and we all work together as well not only are we competing for funds for their research. But we're also collaborated with other scientists not only with the and on should medical campus but with the boulder campus. With people all around the a country in the world because. No one person is going to cure alzheimer's disease by themselves so the last do you talk to one that you share your information yes we do and we do it in many different ways we may just. Leo call somebody up on the phone and say how would you like to do a joint project on this idea. Or we may go to the international alzheimer's disease. Median. Which was in. Toronto. It's been in Washington DC. And and next year will be or this year later on it will be in in London. And so the experts. About alzheimer's disease and other kinds of to nineteen elvis' all get together. The basic scientists clinicians. The federal land and state organizers. And and they exchange ideas and they exchanged the latest results. That's outstanding I I really think people need to know that. Because a lot of people just think well I just. Have to live with my loved one a in working with and the best way I can't sit try to find strategies and techniques. And they don't really realize what's going on behind the scenes. They don't understand the reach of the research around the world. Around our nation and a hopefully we'll get better and better at it million people get more involved and support it movies cheetah where you need to go for the finish line. Well we need do to reach that finish line because if you look around people you know. If every one of us live to be 85 years old about half of us will have alzheimer's disease right and then the other half will be caregivers. So thanks to all the medical advances where we're living longer and healthier lives. Then we come up against a wall of officers. And fast pass to be fixed. Oh absolutely I heard this statistic the other day 37%. Increase. Will happen. By 20/20 hi. Yes that's probably about right and of course without new entry fee increases the the cost so really I think the Alzheimer's Association. Estimates that the cost of alzheimer's disease alone not to mention other than nineteen illnesses. Is about 230. Billion dollars a year and I expected to go up to him like trillion a year. We're fighting about a few million here and there about the now the budget in Washington but this would would. Killed a budget very quickly. And unfortunately alzheimer's as one of the least funded diseases out there. For the number of people that are gathered yes yeah that's disappointing isn't it. One of those. Studies that you're doing I have had one of those studies that you're doing is on one of my favorite things caffeine Karl. I love coffee. Tell our listeners what you're learning about coffee and weather gear ourselves up there are two aspects. So the other caffeine coffee connection. One is that if you ask people who have alzheimer's disease or don't have alzheimer's disease did they drink coffee in middle age. And of course they have to have a good memory for that so you know it's a tricky kind of question. But it turns out that if people in middle aged drinking three to five cups of coffee a day they probably have a reduced risk of alzheimer's disease about 60%. Which is substantial. Yeah what's it could be a lot of reasons maybe they are you know radio disc jockeys maybe they are CEO's of major corporation. And which case they need coffee horrified by the what we were able to do was to ask the same question of the mice and when the mice were fed costly. Or caffeine. Then that the alzheimer's disease. Goes away. And that's very exciting because it suggests that it's not just a lifestyle it's actually benefit. And what that suggests is that we probably should try that in people with alzheimer's disease but we haven't yet. OK so that's an upcoming. Childs yes OK I understand it's not going to be a magic bullet there were lots of people with alzheimer's disease that could have. Had lots of coffee their whole lives and it's not going to be a magic bullet but it might be a small. Now you look at alzheimer's from Marie search standpoint. But from the layman's standpoint how about staying fit how about eating the right things you know every time we turnaround and we have these doctors on TV that rules say. Take coconut away no worry you know stay away from the live whenever we spending could portion of our time. Trying to tell people that really doesn't make a difference but. I really think staying fit exercising. What impact do you think has. I'll La course a lot. If you look at the sort of range of of people with alzheimer's disease. About sixty or 70% is due to family history at some kind of genetics. But that means that 3040%. Is environment and we have a lot more control over environment that we do about our genes. And so here. Exercise which you mentioned is very very clearly. A benefit for people who want to avoid heart to seize. And also now want to avoid alzheimer's disease and it works in the mice as well. That's outstanding. Now I have to tell you. My husband has heard you we had a fundraiser for you last may to have said and I try to get the word out for you but you have a wonderful story. If you can remember and tell our listeners about your million dollar mice. You ha he told some fun stories and he he just gets a big kick out of that so she can write and well. Heidi as you I can't imagine. We have to take care of the mighty scary very carefully they get food and get water. And they get Obama care for now. Bob and as a day's over pretty healthy life is in our revive area. Okay but it costs on a gram for gram basis. War to keep a mouse in the by the area than it does it pay my salary. What ha oh and and that's because while there are smaller and they all have to be taking care of so it's expensive to keep. These these mice healthy and happy and are very very M and we appreciate them there are some of our most important collaborators. That share our church. And you told me once you don't even get to go down and see them is that true. Well I personally haven't been down in the buy Varian for a long time the people who do. Her very carefully trained and vetted and make sure that they put on all the booties and he acts to. Basically keep the there you know street dirt from getting into the mice cages and and contaminating. No it's it's tricky to to get set up to an out. Okay well that makes sense. We've got just about three minutes left but I wanted to talk about the continuum of care is that you have. And Cheryl summer's research center well people who are signed up for. Hair and assessment at the memory disorders clinic under doctor Jonathan woodcock. Are basically provided with a full panoply of information. And potential treatment for these to nineteen illness screen and then of course in collaboration with the Alzheimer's Association. Their caregivers can be trained as. Clone that's excellent. Can I know that's something that is near injured in my heart with my summit resilience training that's what I'm doing I'm trying to help families. Usery directions skills and managing their own emotions and so forth so that they can be successful on live with this disease. Not struggle with this in use resilience which is part of the team and my show. Resilience is all about overcoming obstacles and in adversity to find positive outcome I think we both are very very committed to that I. Absolutely should. Well talking to you is a lot of fun and I won a dig get as much information from music could so we're gonna have part two of this conversation next Sunday. So all you losers please tune in not only today but next Sunday and you can. Visit the other podcasts that we have listened to. This show next week if you need to just to refresh your memory about what you doing over there but join us again next Sunday for part two this conversation with doctor Huntington potter. And we want to thank our sponsor W heights for all the great work they do out there hope everybody has a wonderful day and we'll see you next weekend. Appreciate you coming back next week to visit with us looking forward to thanks have a great day everybody. You've been listening to dementia resilience would still horrendous sponsors five billion price alzheimer's special care center. Visit her website at summit resilience training dot com to learn more. And join us next week as we learn more about dementia alzheimer's and overcoming obstacles with a positive outcome to see you next time.