Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
(ICUMI) A February 6, 2017 Alzheimer’s News Today article reported that UsAgainstAlzheimer’s received an engagement award to begin addressing the underrepresentation of African Americans and Latinos in neurological research. A key goal of the program is to build a national network of doctors, researchers, patients, caregivers and others involved in healthcare to enhance collaboration, share knowledge and bring them into the research process. It is partially funded by a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award.
A February 28, 2017 AEI article reported on a Q&A session on Reddit, hosted by Bill Gates which addressed, among other topics, technology, innovation and important economic issues. Gates was asked the question: “Why do you think our healthcare systems have such a hard time leveraging the revolutionary changes in scalability that we’ve seen in software?” He answered, “It is super important to improve our healthcare system – both to reduce chronic disease but if we don’t do better health costs will squeeze out spending on all other government functions. I agree it is surprising how tough it has been to get digital medical records right and to learn from looking at those records. Still there are some very promising things going on. For example the idea of looking at a blood sample to find cancer very early so it can be treated. We will be able to use genomic data to tune treatments. There are a few big problems like diabetes, obesity and neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s that we really need to solve.”
FEEL GOOD STORY OF THE DAY
A March 2, 2017 Buzz Feed News article reported on Richard Dawson, a 28-year old living in the UK with family members, including his 95-year old grandmother who has Alzheimer’s. The family borrows Orla, a dachshund, who visits twice a month. Whenever she comes to play, his grandmother is “constantly smiling and playing and doesn’t worry about not remembering things,” Dawson said. He posted some pictures on Twitter and they went viral, eliciting similar stories and tears of joy.
RESEARCH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
A March 1, 2017 Science Daily article reported on a small, successful trial, published in Journal of Alzheimer's disease, using Google calendar to maintain prospective memory (ability to remember to do future things), in a patient with mild AD. It is the first study suggesting positive effects of smartphone applications on everyday life prospective memory (in AD). These anecdotal findings require a larger study to address challenges such as the long-term benefits of Google calendar, and paves the way for exploring smartphone-integrated memory aids for Alzheimer's.
A February 27, 2017 Broadway World article reported on the staging of Mickele Hogan’s, “Mourning the Living,” a new drama directed by Alan Souza about caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease. It addresses the complexities of caregiving, the caregivers’ choices and their struggle to uphold obligations without losing sight of their own future. It was inspired by Hogan's own experience as a caregiver for a woman with dementia while working for Home Instead Senior Care, as well as other caregivers' experiences. It will run April 7-22nd, at the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre: 312 West 36th Street in Manhattan.
A February 28, 2017 90.3 ABC Sunshine Coast article reported that receiving a diagnosis of early-onset dementia, at the age of 55, after 18 months of testing, was a relief for Sue Dillon. After watching her father and grandparents live with dementia, the former scientist and lawyer recognized the signs. She is hopeful she can be a "test bunny" by enrolling in clinical trials. She has made a conscious effort to find joyful activities, after learning that stress was an aggravating factor, including tap and square dancing.
EVENTS AND RESOURCES
Brain Health Registry (BHR) has launched a new initiative called the Caregiver and Study Partner Portal (CASPP). This innovative tool allows BHR participants to designate someone who knows them well, such as a family member or close friend, to join BHR as their study partner. The information gathered from the participant-study partner pair can be used to better identify those at risk for developing brain disease.