Today's Top Alzheimer's News
December 31, 2013
The need to focus on medical innovation in 2014, the latest on cholesterol and Alzheimer's, and the slow progress of translating lab discoveries into treatments for patients (read more).
- A December 31, 2013 The Daily Beast opinion piece by Lloyd Green highlighted the need to focus on energy and medicine for "hope" in 2014. According to Green, "But my hopes are not just about energy. They’re also about medicine and cures, as opposed to health insurance…Just this month NIH announced that “researchers can now freely access the first batch of genome sequence data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project.” The true damage caused by Alzheimer’s cannot be understated, as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia now kill one of every three seniors. Alzheimer’s also is threatening to blow the lid off of Medicare, as the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the fifth leading cause of death among Americans 65 and older. Alzheimer’s treatment cost $200 billion in 2012 and is projected to rise to $1.2 trillion annually by midcentury. Finding a cure is thus a matter of national necessity."
- A December 30, 2013 Herald-Tribune editorial called for a global effort to end Alzheimer's disease. According to the editorial, "Increasingly, other nations are recognizing that Alzheimer's is their problem, too. December's summit meeting of the G8 (France, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada), focused an even stronger spotlight on the issue. Also helping was Britain's recent pledge to double dementia-research funding by 2025. Ambitious though it is, the 2025 Alzheimer's goal is a vital one. This is an illness that attacks the font of the human spirit: the brain. Fittingly, that same asset is our best tool to seek and find the best ways to fight back."
- A December 30, 2013 Los Angeles Times article reported on the link between cholesterol and Alzheimer's. According to the article, "Well before signs of dementia trigger a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, a person's cholesterol levels may be a bellwether of amyloid plaque build-up in the brain, a new study finds. Long considered a reliable predictor of heart attacks and strokes, worrisome cholesterol levels may now raise concerns about dementia risk as well, prompting more aggressive use of drugs, including statins, that alter cholesterol levels."
- A December 30, 2013 Wall Street Journal article reported on the slow progress of getting new drugs from the lab to patients with diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. According to the article, "Bringing a new drug to market typically costs upward of $100 million and can take as many as 15 years of research, testing and regulatory review. As a result, health experts worry that not enough innovative medicines are being developed, or that the progress is too slow."