Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News

USA2 SPOTLIGHT

A July 13, 2017 1A radio segment asked why African Americans and women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Jill Lesser President, WomenAgainstAlzheimer's and Board member, USAgainstAlzheimer’s, and Marita Golden, journalist and author, tackle these pressing questions.

A July 12, 2017 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s post applauded the proposed $400 million increase for Alzheimer’s research at the NIH in the 2018 funding bill advanced by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. According to UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chairman, George Vradenburg, "We are grateful for the leadership of the Labor-HHS subcommittee chairman, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), and colleagues for prioritizing innovation against a disease that is poised to be a great burden on families, and the health care system, for years to come. The burgeoning Alzheimer’s movement will not wait for much-needed progress. We need a cancer-sized solution to defeat this cancer-sized problem, and this proposed funding increase is an important next step.”

MUST READS

A July 12, 2017 Nature article spotlighted the spending proposal released yesterday by the House of Representatives which would increase the 2018 NIH budget by $1.1 billion, to $35.2 billion. The legislation will go to vote today (July 13). The President’s plan to cut the NIH budget by 18% would reduce how much it pays-out to reimburse its grantees’ institutions for “indirect costs.” The House bill directs the NIH to compensate institutions for those expenses and includes an increase of $76 million for the BRAIN (Brain Research Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, and an extra $400 million for Alzheimer’s disease research.  

A July 12, 2017 ABC News article looked at simple things people can do to help keep their brain sharp. According to key findings of a June report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, exercise, games, computer use and other activities can help keep the brain nimble. Reducing high blood pressure will lower chances of dementia with improved blood flow to the brain. In terms of delaying mental decline and protecting your brain, ”Probably the worst thing you can do is become a couch potato and sit around the house all day," said Keith N. Fargo, Director of Scientific Programs and Outreach for the Alzheimer's Association. 

According to a July 12, 2017 Nature article, it’s time for Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials to focus on people where signature brain pathology hasn’t yet appeared. They should follow in the vein of statins, which target ‘primary prevention’ for people as early as childhood, to treat genetic blood cholesterol disorders. There are various indications that addressing Alzheimer’s at its earliest stages will increase the likelihood of a single drug with a single target being effective. For this to happen, pharmaceutical companies, and public and private agencies, need to provide the necessary resources.

DISPARITIES SPOTLIGHT

A July 13, 2017 The Hill interview with Maria Shriver of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement talks about her Alzheimer’s mission. Her father’s battle with AD lead her to advocacy. According to Shriver, it’s a women’s issue. “In 2011, my report, ‘The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s,’ uncovered for the first time ever that two-thirds of all the brains with Alzheimer’s in America belong to women. We also reported that two-thirds of all the caregivers in this country are women. Uncovering both of those startling statistics prompted me to make women a focal point of my Alzheimer’s advocacy.”

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