Today's Top Alzheimer's News
December 26, 2013
NIH Director Francis Collins urges policymakers to invest in the nation's health, possible hope for solanezumab, and the latest in football related concussion research (read more).
- A December 24, 2013 Washington Post opinion piece by NIH Director Francis S. Collins called for increased investment in the "nation's health" and highlighted how "a combination of sequestration-mandated spending cuts and budgets that have not kept pace with biomedical research inflation over the past 10 years has weakened NIH’s ability to carry out its mission." According to Collins, "The economic benefits of NIH funding include a return-on-investment of research grants to local economies and cost savings from decreased disease burdens. But beyond that, for the millions of sick people awaiting treatments and cures, the investment in NIH’s mission is priceless. If an investment in hope is not worth supporting, I don’t know what is."
Research and science
- A December 24, 2013 Wichita Eagle article reported that Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, announced that recent clinical trials of solanezumab have indicated that the drug might be effective in delaying the onset of Alzheimer's. According to the article, "So far, the new drug has shown helpful in patients with mild dementia, and may be even more effective if given preventatively to those at risk long before symptoms appear. Researchers say that brain scans can detect changes in the brains of patients with dementia a decade before symptoms arrive. If more trials result in success, people with a family history of dementia may be able to receive monthly injections of the drug a decade before any signs of disease show, similar to the way that statins are prescribed for those at risk of heart attacks and strokes."
- A December 24, 2013 PolicyMic article reported that NIH research has found that clinical intervention may be able to protect brain tissue after an injury, possibly paving the way for a "breakthrough to treat NFL concussions". According to the article, "The fact that antioxidants can save brain tissue in mice within a window of time is exciting news. This research has not yet been tested in humans, but it shows promise that clinical intervention can protect brain tissue after an injury. Maybe in the near future, football players will be given an antioxidant patch to combat potential brain damage after a hard hit."