Today's Top Alzheimer's News
April 8, 2014
How Alzheimer's testing could lead to insurance discrimination, a new report that could save Minnesota $1 billion in Alzheimer's costs, and what a mapped mouse brain means for Alzheimer's (read more).
- An April 7, 2014 New York Times article reported on the potential for "punishment" for folks who are genetically predisposed to diseases like Alzheimer's, breast cancer, or colon cancer. According to the article, "But even if such results can be kept private, patients could be penalized. A life insurance broker for Accuquote, an online service that compares insurance policies, said that if an applicant carried a highly predictive marker for a disease like Alzheimer’s and failed to disclose it, that would be “guilt by omission.”…These worries, he added, are spreading to a growing community of people aware of predictive testing for hereditary illnesses like Alzheimer’s, breast cancer and colon cancer."
- An April 7, 2014 Minneapolis Star Tribune article reported on new Alzheimer's care model that could save the state "nearly $1 billion in Alzheimer's costs." According to the article, "Karen Ray has been caring for people her whole life — four children, 12 grandchildren, a husband — but when her mother was formally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago, she needed some extra help. Ray, 60, started attending a monthly support group where she could talk to other caregivers and get advice on dementia.That sort of support isn’t available for many of the 245,000 Minnesotans caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. But if it were, the state could save nearly $1 billion over the next decade, in part by reducing the most expensive forms of care that dementia patients require, according to a study published Monday by the influential journal Health Affairs." Read the report abstract here.
- The April 2014 issue of the journal Health Affairs is dedicated to Alzheimer's policy research. Read the cover story here. Several articles behind a pay wall.
Research and science
- An April 7, 2014 Washington Post article reported on the latest research focused on mapping the mouse brain. According to the article, "Such a diagram might reveal, say, how neurons that register the taste of a cookie fan out to circuits that store memories and unleash a torrent of remembrances of things past. And it might reveal what causes those circuits to malfunction in diseases such as Alzheimer’s…A large-scale map is the goal of the Human Connectome Project, which the National Institutes of Health announced in 2010 and which Van Essen calls “one of the great scientific challenges of the 21st century.” It is being produced using a special technique called diffusion tensor imaging in living brains."
- Penn Medical Ethicist: Policy Changes Urgently Needed as Millions of Americans to Start Receiving Early Label of Alzheimer's Disease [Penn Medicine press release] (4/7/14)