Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Touching Alzheimer's research PSA, criticism of Al Hunt's recent Bloomberg opinion piece highlighting Alzheimer's research, and the shrinking Alzheimer's drug market (read more).  

Must read

  • A June 11, 2013 Wall Street Journal opinion piece by James Taranto criticized Al Hunt's recent Bloomberg opinion piece about the negative impact of sequestration on Alzheimer's research. According to Taranto, "The argument is obvious but subtly wrong. It's a variation of the old Washington Monument ploy: pick out a government expenditure almost anyone will agree is vital or at least worthwhile, note that across-the-board cuts will not spare it, and then conclude that across-the-board cuts are foolish or wicked…It doesn't seem to have occurred to Hunt that if Alzheimer's deaths have increased, it is largely because deaths from cancer and circulatory ailments have decreased. As this column has noted repeatedly, the aggregate death rate from all causes is 100%; if the deaths from one cause diminish, by mathematical necessity deaths from all other causes will eventually rise by a like number…For one thing, it turns out, the sequester hasn't actually reduced such funding, as Hunt acknowledges: "Alzheimer's research, pre-sequestration, was slated for a healthy increase this year. By moving a few discretionary funds, the NIH has avoided cutbacks.""

 International 

  • A June 11, 2013 The Guardian article reported that the UK is looking at Japan for ideas on how to deal with its aging population and issues with dementia. According to the article, "On the other hand, the Japanese voter typically expresses mature views on how care should be funded. The assumption is that high-quality services must be paid for. The high degree of consensus on this question is reflected in widespread support for the mandatory insurance system. But in Britain, successive governments have avoided increases in direct taxation to fund the social elements that form such an important part of care for dementia sufferers. Equally, it is taken as read in Japan that the entire system of accessible care should be properly funded and the cost shared between government (through taxation) and society at large (through insurance contributions). It is a lesson that Britain might usefully consider."

 Research and science 

  • A June 11, 2013 FierceBiotech.com article reported on the shrinking Alzheimer's drug market. According to the article, "According to analysts, the Alzheimer's drug market peaked last year at $10.2 billion and will now slide 1.5% per year until 2017, when the cash returns will slide to about $9.5 billion. The reason for the coming slide, they say, revolves around the fact that drug developers have been able to come up with nothing effective to treat Alzheimer's since Aricept was approved 15 years ago."
  • A June 11, 2013 BioscienceTechnology.com article reported that "Diabetes-associated episodes of low blood sugar may increase the risk of developing dementia, while having dementia or even milder forms of cognitive impairment may increase the risk of experiencing low blood sugar, according to the study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine."

 Human interest 

  • A June 11, 2013 AARP article and audio piece reported on author David Shenk's Alzheimer's and caregiver film project. According to the article, "David Shenk, the author of The Genius in All of Us and The Forgetting — Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic, recently talked with Mike Cuthbert about his Living With Alzheimer's film project. In his role as producer, Shenk tasked four different filmmakers to each make a short film to show how families adapt to having a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease."

 

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