Today's Top Alzheimer's News

PhRMA and the National Minority Quality Forum launch a new campaign to increase diversity in clinical trials, Amyloid plaques and early life, the role of billionaires in funding big science, and more insight into the toll of Alzheimer's on caregivers (read more). 

Must reads

  • A March 16, 2014 NJ.com article reported on a new campaign launched by PhRMA and the National Minority Quality Forum to increase diversity in clinical trials. According to the article, "Caucasians comprise 67 percent of the U.S. population but are 83 percent of drug industry-funded clinical trial participants, while blacks represent 12 percent of the population but just 5 percent of trial participants, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Hispanics are 16 percent of the population, but just 1 percent of clinical trial volunteers."
  • A March 16, 2014 New Scientist article highlighted the link between Amyloid plaques and early life on earth. According to the article, "Amyloid plaques, a hallmark of diseases like Alzheimer's, are bad news for humans – but they could have been drivers of the earliest life on Earth. A new study shows that these amyloid clusters can behave as catalysts, backing a theory that they helped trigger the reactions that sustain life, long before modern enzymes appeared."
  • A March 14, 2014 New York Times article reported on the increasing role of private philanthropy in driving basic science as federal funding decreases. According to the article, "American science, long a source of national power and pride, is increasingly becoming a private enterprise.In Washington, budget cuts have left the nation’s research complex reeling. Labs are closing. Scientists are being laid off. Projects are being put on the shelf, especially in the risky, freewheeling realm of basic research. Yet from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, science philanthropy is hot, as many of the richest Americans seek to reinvent themselves as patrons of social progress through science research. The result is a new calculus of influence and priorities that the scientific community views with a mix of gratitude and trepidation. 
  • A March 14, 2014 The Seattle Times opinion piece by caregiver Collin Tong reported on the emotional and economic impact of Alzheimer's on caregivers. According to Tong, "Sadly, stories such as mine are becoming a common fact of life. Alzheimer’s disease is now the third leading cause of death in Washington state. More sobering is the fact that while deaths from heart disease, breast cancer and stroke decreased from 2000 to 2010, Alzheimer’s-related deaths have risen by almost 68 percent…Alzheimer’s disease has become a national public-health epidemic whose long-term impact we ignore only at our own peril. As caregivers, we share our stories in order that our voices might advance public understanding about this disease and hasten the day when medical science will find a cure."

 

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