Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Researchers ask Congress for more funding to fight Alzheimer's, minority of families face financial devastation due to dementia costs according to RAND, and video of actor Seth Rogen's testimony on the importance of Alzheimer's funding (read more). 

Must reads and watch

  • A February 27, 2014 National Journal article reported that researchers and advocates asked for increased funding to fight Alzheimer's during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday. According to the article, "The subcommittee questioned leaders from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Aging, along with other experts. Other witnesses included a comedian and Alzheimer's activist Seth Rogen, who brought a little star power—and levity—to the proceedings which were, needless to say, pretty grim.Though Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, it isn't as commonly discussed or as well funded as some of the other diseases, several researchers testified. Worse, it is the only one of the top 10 deadliest diseases in the nation for which there is no treatment to slow its progress. There is no cure and it is always fatal." 
  • A February 27, 2014 McKnight's article reported that Michael D. Hurd of the RAND Corporation testified before Congress on the impact of dementia on long-term care costs for families. According to Hurd, "“New, ongoing research” indicates that a “minority of families” does in fact risk financial devastation due to dementia costs, specifically for long-stay nursing home care, according to Hurd. At the same time, many families are likely to incur modest expenses related to dementia care. “This situation in which many families incur minor costs but a few incur very large costs ought to call for an insurance solution, one in which the costs of long-term care could be spread across the entire population rather than being concentrated on the unlucky few,” Hurd wrote." Written testimony here
  • A February 26, 2014 Los Angeles Times article and video reported on actor Seth Rogen's testimony before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the economic and personal cost of Alzheimer's. According to Rogen, "Two, is to say, people need more help. I've personally seen the massive amount of financial strain this disease causes and if the American people ever decide to reject genitalia-driven comedy, I will no longer be able to afford it. ... I can't begin to imagine how people with more limited incomes are dealing with this. ... The third reason I'm here, simply, is to show people that they are not alone, so few people share their personal stories." Watch Seth Rogen's opening statement here

Research and science

  • A February 25, 2014 UT Southwestern Medical Center news release announced "researchers created new nerve cells in the brains and spinal cords of living mammals without the need for stem cell transplants to replenish lost cells." According to the release, "Although the research indicates it may someday be possible to regenerate neurons from the body’s own cells to repair traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage or to treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers stressed that it is too soon to know whether the neurons created in these initial studies resulted in any functional improvements, a goal for future research."

 

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