Today's Top Alzheimer's News

The latest in research linking Alzheimer's and Down syndrome, NIH Director Francis Collins talks about the challenges facing NIH, and university presidents speak out against sequestration (read more). 

 

 

Must reads

  • A November 13, 2013 Bloomberg article reported on the advancement of research linking Alzheimer's and Down syndrome. According to the article, "Research to unravel for the first time the complex genetic mechanisms shared by Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome is gaining momentum in studies by Johnson & Johnson and patient advocacy groups…While the high incidence in Down patients has been noted for decades, scientists are only now seeking to use the quicker progression to gauge how Alzheimer’s grows in the general population. At a time when drug companies have been frustrated in their efforts to slow the disease, the link to Down syndrome may hold the promise of a new path forward toward finding an effective treatment."
  • A November 8, 2013 Wall Street Journal Saturday Interview piece profiled NIH Director Francis Collins and his thoughts on the "political upheaval" NIH is in the midst of. According to the article, ""Dr. Collins says "the paradox of my daily experience" is that the potential of medical research is unprecedented and yet he is trailed by "this sense that we are not taking full advantage of what is in many ways our most critical resource." NIH appropriations doubled in real terms between 1998 and 2003 but leveled off after that and then started to decline. "We're getting pretty close to being undoubled," he says. The NIH now turns down six of every seven grant applications; in 1979, it accepted two of five…Research can't be turned on and off like a faucet, he adds. Since knowledge is incremental and builds over time, medical innovations may be delayed or never happen at all: "We can all think of findings that seemed completely irrelevant but ultimately changed everything and led to people's lives being saved, but began in the strangest way.""

Sequestration 

  • A November 12, 2013 Washington Post article reported on the efforts of university presidents to highlight the impact of sequestration on university led research. According to the article, "This week university presidents meeting in the nation’s capital denounced the sequester, as they have since before it took effect in March, and urged Congress to roll it back so that federally sponsored research can resume at a normal pace."
  • A November 12, 2013 Hartford Business Journal article reported on a report released by NDD United that highlighted the impact of budget cuts on a range of programs, from early childhood education to elderly care programs. According to the article, "Already, the sequester is "creating a drag on an economy still struggling to recover from the Great Recession," the report said. And it will only get worse, reaching deep into many communities around the country and even overseas…The NDD United group called the report the "first comprehensive look" at the impact of sequestration across several sectors. NDD groups that helped pay for the report include the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, American Heart Association, Council on Undergraduate Research and Goodwill Industries International, among others."

Research and science 

  • A November 12, 2013 News Medical article reported that "Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida, the University of Florida in Gainesville, and the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle have received a $7.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to take a new and more expanded approach to identifying drug targets to treat and possibly prevent Alzheimer's disease."

 

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