Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News

USA2 SPOTLIGHT

A March 13, 2017 11 Alive (NBC) segment (and accompanying article) features the stage play, ‘Forget Me Not,’ written by Garrett Davis to reach-out to the African American community about Alzheimer’s disease, a group twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s but less likely to get help. He wrote the play in honor of his grandmother, Goodness, who had AD. “I’m sure she’s smiling. I do everything for Goodness’ sake,” said Davis. AfricanAmericansAgainstAlzheimer's is a network of UsAgainstAlzheimer's, an innovative advocacy organization demanding and delivering a solution to Alzheimer's. It is the preeminent voice in and for the African American community on Alzheimer's and its disproportionate impact on African Americans. Through the award-winning “Forget Me Not,” we reach communities nationwide to build appreciation for and participation in clinical trials by African Americans.

CROWD & CLOUD, supported by the National Science Foundation, focuses on “Citizen Science in the Digital Age.” It encompasses a wide and diverse range of projects, from speeding-up Alzheimer’s research through crowdsourcing, to combating Zika. The CROWD & CLOUD four-part episodic series features LatinosAgainstAlzheimer's advocate and caregiver, Lisette Carbajal, who helps care for her father living with Alzheimer's. Watch Lisette's interview here. The first program will premiere on public television’s WORLD Channel, Thursday April 6th at 9pm (EST) (with a re-feed at 9pm Pacific). Programs 2, 3 and 4 follow one week apart, on the same days and times. Other PBS stations will broadcast CROWD & CLOUD at different times, so please check your local listings.

MUST READS

A March 11, 2017 Boston Herald article reported on the rising costs of Alzheimer’s care, and the effect it is having on Judy and Steve Johanson. Judy has cared for her husband with AD, aged 64, for more than five years. In lost wages alone (both patient and caregiver), the Johanson family is out $50,000 annually. These rising costs are likely a result of the aging population. “A lot more people are living into their 70’s, 80’s and even 90s’,” according to Dr. Daniel Press, Clinical Director of Cognitive Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The risk of developing AD doubles every five years after the age of 65. Deaths from heart disease decreased 14% between 2000 and 2014, while deaths from Alzheimer’s spiked by 89%. 

A March 10, 2017 Pharmaceutical Processing article reported that biotechnology enterprise, Nature Cell, has started to recruit US patients for its clinical trials of a stem cell drug, ASTROSTEM, for Alzheimer's disease treatment. IRB final approval was obtained last week. The stem cells treat the disease through regeneration of blood vessels, cartilage and neurons, and are administered intravenously. The company expects the technology for administering stem cells intravenously, multiple times, will become the world standard technology. ASTROSTEM not only slows down symptoms of AD, but may also reverse functions for improved quality of life. “We expect that ASTROSTEM, which was manufactured with the new and innovative stem cell technology developed in 2015, will demonstrate safety and effects for Alzheimer's disease treatment,” said study leader, Jeong-chan Ra, Director, Biostar Stem Cell Research Institute.

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVES

A March 13, 2017 KTAR News segment and article is the second part of a five-part, weeklong series on how Alzheimer’s disease can affect you at any age. Fear of death keeps many Americans from having difficult conversations about aging and dying, and often prevents the elderly from receiving proper medical care in a timely matter. Elderly are the second-most vulnerable population health-wise, after children.  “People are walking around maybe feeling embarrassed or stigmatized,” said Dr. Mary Beth Gallagher, Hospice of The Valley. “When if they went to the right clinician they could find a way to remedy the situation or get the good support.” Many people, depending on genetics, could benefit from early intervention.

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