Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
Our Alzheimer’s Talks teleconference is today at 2pm (EST), featuring Dr. Gregory Jicha. He will talk about the impact of genetics on Alzheimer’s risk, how this research might help identify key targets for disease modification and whether a treatment for Alzheimer’s might include personalized medicine based on an individual’s genetics. Dr. Jicha is Professor of Neurology and Robert T. and Nyles Y. McCowan Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
A March 16, 2017 New York Times article reported on the continuing conversation about President Trump’s proposed budget, including a $5.8 billion cut from the National Institutes of Health, the agency that funds much of the nation's research into the causes of different diseases and how to treat them. It would be an 18% drop in funding, rolling back the budget to approximately what it was in 2003. The proposed cuts "threaten to undo the years of gains made in the fight against Alzheimer's," said George Vradenburg of the nonprofit UsAgainstAlzheimer's. It remains to be seen if Congress will agree to the cuts. The NIH has long experienced bipartisan support among lawmakers. Also covered by Washington Post, ABC News, The Houston Chronicle, and others.
A March 16, 2017 Sun Sentinel article spotlighted the 3rd Annual Promise Garden Luncheon and Spring Fashion Show, which serves as the kick-off for the Boca Walk to End Alzheimer's in September. “One in three people in Palm Beach County are affected with Alzheimer's or dementia, four times more than the national average,” according to Pamela Polani, the event’s organizer. "This disease has me fearless,'' said Meryl Comer speaking at the event, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Founding Board Member, and former television news reporter and author (“Slow Dancing With a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer’s”), who has taken care of her husband with early onset Alzheimer's for 20 years and now also her mother. "I'm worried about our generation, we're in denial. Alzheimer's is the biggest women's issue since breast cancer. If there's Alzheimer's on the female side, there's more risk and it advances faster. We want women to protect themselves. I fight because the next generation of women need better options." Join a team, sign up for the walk, or volunteer.
A March 16, 2017 PBS NewsHour article outlines the proposed 2018 budget cuts for science and health programs. Most notable are a proposed 31% cut in the EPA, 19% in NIH, 21% in Department of Agriculture, and a proposed 100% cut to the Chemical Safety Board. The budget listed no specifics for the Centers of Disease Control, aside from emergency funding to respond to potential outbreaks.
RESEARCH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
A March 13, 2017 Science News article tells how researchers at Lund University in Sweden have used the MAX IV synchrotron to create infrared spectroscopy images showing structural, molecular changes in the brain, which could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. The images predate the formation of toxic beta-amyloid clumps and challenge the long-held consensus of combating the disease by eliminating these plaques, in favor of stabilizing them. Their new hypothesis focuses on the abnormal separation of the beta-amyloid protein and could signal a major shift in the development of Alzheimer’s therapies.
EVENTS AND RESOURCES
Daughterhood circles are small groups that get together regularly to hang out, relax and help each other navigate caring for aging parents. A growing aging population means more people — particularly women — find themselves with unexpected responsibilities for a frail parent’s care. Daughterhood circles aim the power of community and friendship directly at the challenges that come with this new life phase.