Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Cleveland Clinic researchers identify new Alzheimer's protein, Japan's efforts to tackle old age in a rapidly aging society, and Japan's health ministry claims researchers falsified data in major Alzheimer's study (read more).   

 

Must reads

  • A January 21, 2014 Inforum (ND) letter-to-the-editor by Max Laird and Kanada Yazbek co-chairs of the Public Policy Committee of the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota-North Dakota applauded the passage of a "bipartisan budget bill that recognizes the critical need for our nation to address Alzheimer’s." According to the letter, "A commitment to Alzheimer’s research is critical to our nation’s fiscal health, and we commend Congress for accomplishing bipartisan action at a time of sizable fiscal challenges."
  • A January 20, 2014 HealthCanal article reported that "Cleveland Clinic researchers have identified a protein in the brain that plays a critical role in the memory loss seen in Alzheimer’s patients." According to the article, "The protein – Neuroligin-1 (NLGN1) – is known to be involved in memory formation; this is the first time it’s been linked to amyloid-associated memory loss."
  • A January 17, 2014 Financial Times Magazine article profiled Japan's efforts to stand up to old age in a society where 25 percent of the population is over the age of 65. According to the article, "Twenty-five per cent of Japanese are over 65. But not only do they live longer, they work longer, stay healthier, care for their elderly better – and have found ways to pay for it...Children, not the state, have long been regarded as primarily responsible for looking after ageing parents, with the burden often falling on daughters-in-law. But as Japan’s extended family structure has unravelled and as more women work, the state has had to find alternatives. Hospitals have sometimes filled the gap, with tens of thousands of beds given over to long-term patients. The fact that elderly people pay only 10-20 per cent of their medical fees from their own pocket has made this relatively affordable for individuals, if not for a deeply indebted government trying to rein in costs. In response, the state has increased the payments doctors receive for home visits in an effort to incentivise more home-based care." 
  • A January 10, 2014 Agence France Presse (AFP) article reported that "Japan's health ministry...claims falsified data was used in an Alzheimer's disease study involving major pharmaceutical firms, a day after filing an unrelated criminal complaint against Swiss drugs giant Novartis." According to the article, "A report in the Asahi Shimbun Friday said the newspaper had obtained internal documents highlighting at least four instances where researchers linked to the drugs makers and medical institutions tried to falsify data. In response, a Pfizer spokesman in Japan said the drugs giant supplied some financing for the research, but did not employ any researchers." Additional coverage here.
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