Today's Top Alzheimer's News
December 17, 2013
Dementia care demand grows as boomers age, the need to rethink dementia tests, and the work of the African American Network Against Alzheimer’s (read more).
Must reads and watch
- A December 17, 2013 USA Today video segment highlighted the growing demand for dementia care as baby boomers age in the US.
- A December 16, 2013 Washington Post article cautioned against taking dementia screening tests. According to the article, "Yet there are good reasons to think twice about such a test, says Des Spence, a general physician in Glasgow, Scotland, and a columnist for BMJ. For one thing, early dementia is difficult to distinguish from mild cognitive impairment, those minor memory blips that sneak up as we age. About one in five people older than 75 have such blips, and most cases never progress to dementia or Alzheimer’s, Spence says. Whether early diagnosis improves outcomes is another open question. The task force found no evidence that early detection helps patients, their caregivers and doctors make better decisions about health-care and end-of-life decisions, and it concluded that there simply isn’t good evidence to say that clinicians should screen people without symptoms. The task force’s statement is not a recommendation not to screen, he says; rather, it’s an acknowledgment that it’s not clear how the risks and benefits of screening stack up."
- A December 16, 2013 Reuters article reported that "U.S. researchers on Monday unveiled a $14 million series of research projects aimed at diagnosing and treating brain injuries in football players and others who have suffered multiple head injuries or concussions." According to the article, "The projects, partly funded by the National Football League, are aimed at chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a condition linked to the loss of decision-making control, aggression and dementia. The condition is tied to repeated hits to the head, such as those experienced by football players, hockey players and boxers." Also covered by The New York Times.
- A December 16, 2013 Psychiatric News article featured the advocacy work of the African American Network Against Alzheimer’s (AANAA), an affiliate of the USAgainstAlzheimer’s Network. According to the article, "Around the time of its national launch as an advocacy group in late September, the AANAA released an executive summary of the economic burdens of AD and other dementias in the black community. The summary, “Key Findings and Policy Recommendations: The Cost of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia,” was discussed at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 43rd Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., last fall. With data generated from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the AANAA reported that older African Americans are two to three times more likely to develop AD than are their non-Hispanic Caucasian counterparts."
- Attached is an article published in the American Society of Aging's Fall issue of "Generations" co-authored by Dr. Ken Brummel-Smith and ActivistsAgainstAlzheimer's patient -advocate Dr. Sandy Halperin entitled Patient-Centered Care for People with Cognitive Impairment Is Possible in Primary Care.