Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Patient advocate Amy Shives urges Congress for Alzheimer's research funding, Washington DC releases its first Alzheimer's plan, and Lilly's plans to repurpose diabetes drugs for Alzheimer's (read more). 

 

 

Must reads

  • A November 20, 2013 Spokesman-Review opinion piece by patient advocate Amy Shives called on "Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to co-sponsor the Hope for Alzheimer’s Act and support a strong National Alzheimer’s Plan with the needed resources, including $100 million in fiscal year 2014, for Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach and caregiver support activities." According to Shives, "Alzheimer’s disease is devastating physically, emotionally and financially. The number of people impacted by Alzheimer’s will only continue to escalate if resources aren’t allocated now."
  • A November 19, 2013 New York Times rundown of letters-to-the-editor responded to Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel's November 17 op-ed. According to one reader, "But amyloid imaging can make a significant difference for patients and families. In my practice as a psychiatric social worker, and even with a diagnostic tool in its clinical infancy, I’ve witnessed the critical effect that amyloid imaging can have for patients with atypical presentations of cognitive impairment and uncertain diagnoses…There is certainly a cost to completing such testing, but it may also be of immeasurable benefit."
  • A November 19, 2013 Washington Post article reported that the District of Columbia released its first-ever Alzheimer's plan. According to the article, "A new report released Tuesday by the agency shows the city’s rate of Alzheimer’s deaths to be 18.9 per 100,000, around two-thirds of the nationwide rate of 27 per 100,000…The report calls for greater collaboration among Alzheimer’s organizations and researchers and the dissemination of more information on the disease to District residents. It also calls for increased participation of at-risk residents in research trials and more training for government agencies and professional and family care providers."

Research and science 

  • A November 20, 2013 PMLive article reported that Lilly "is considering whether any of its diabetes drugs could be repositioned for additional uses to treat Alzheimer's disease and has begun some preliminary investigations of the area."
  • A November 19, 2013 San Francisco Chronicle article reported that some Alzheimer's researchers believe they focus too heavily on amyloid beta. According to the article, "Alzheimer's scientists are starting to believe that a main reason they haven't yet found a treatment - not a single drug that will significantly slow down or stop the disease - is because they've been focusing on just one hole in the roof.That hole has a name: amyloid beta. For decades, it's been the primary target of Alzheimer's research, and for good reason. The protein is a hallmark of the disease, forming distinctive clumps of sticky plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer's."

Caregiving

  • A November 20, 2013 Boston Globe article reported on the "daunting" healthcare costs of future retirees. According to the article, "Boston-based Fidelity Investments estimates that a married couple retiring this year at age 65 need $220,000 to cover health costs throughout retirement. That has actually fallen from last year’s estimate of $240,000 because of lower-than-expected Medicare spending, Fidelity said; also, people have cut back on medical care during the lackluster economy, and increases in payments to doctors and health plans have slowed under the Affordable Care Act. But the number is still daunting." 
  • A November 19, 2013 New York Times article profiled individuals caring for aging parents from a distance and the challenges they face. According to the article, "Caring for aging parents at a distance is a great challenge for grown children. And stories like Mr. Quirke’s are common. Besides the physical and emotional strains, there are also financial effects beyond the extra expense, like Mr. Quirke’s lost job mobility."

 

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