Today's Top Alzheimer's News

A "sea change" in Medicare, concerns with early Alzheimer's detection, UK Alzheimer's advisor calls on society to "activate" on behalf of dementia sufferers, and Johnson & Johnson establishes new innovation center in Boston (read more).  

 

Must reads

  • A March 25, 2014 New York Times New Old Age blog post reported on a "sea change" in Medicare that will increase services for sufferers of Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases. According to the article, "In January, Medicare officials updated the agency’s policy manual — the rule book for everything Medicare does — to erase any notion that improvement is necessary to receive coverage for skilled care. That means Medicare now will pay for physical therapy, nursing care and other services for beneficiaries with chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease in order to maintain their condition and prevent deterioration."
  • A March 24, 2014 Time article reported on the hesitation of some doctors to recommend early Alzheimer's detection. According to the article, "But screening for early signs of dementia has a ways to go before experts recommend it the way they do for cancer, according to the latest report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. While the USPSTF did find evidence that some of the current treatments for symptoms can be effective, they didn’t find enough data to recommend or reject the idea of universal screening of all elderly, even before they show any symptoms."
  • A March 23, 2014 The Telegraph (UK) article reported that Dr. Dennis Gillings, an advisor appointed by David Cameron to take on Alzheimer's, said "society needed to 'activate' on behalf of those with dementia and 'dramatically speed up' research efforts in order to secure a breakthrough." According to Dr. Gillings, "I would like to see far more people with dementia being put into clinical research trials, so that once we find a drug is safe we introduce it to a wider population earlier. With HIV the patients themselves were the activists - with dementia it is different so we need communities and families to activate on their behalf."
  • A March edition of Fast Company magazine article profiled Johnson & Johnson's new innovation center in Boston focused on an inter-disciplinary approach to finding cures for diseases like Alzheimer's. According to the article, "The Boston Innovation Center is one of three such outposts that J&J opened in 2013…All will be focused on identifying promising science and technology at an early stage and developing mutually beneficial collaborations with local academics, entrepreneurs, and emerging companies…The Boston center has already funded two startups: Rodin, which is developing a drug that could prolong normal cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients, and Vedanta, which aims to use a cocktail of bacterial strains to treat autoimmune disorders. But the innovation center’s support goes beyond finance…And J&J has provided Rodin with a proprietary library of druglike chemical compounds to speed its R&D work."
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