Today's Top Alzheimer's News
June 17, 2013
New Yorker profile on Alzheimer's research, Hilary Clinton on negative impact of sequestration on medical research, and updates to the National Alzheimer's Plan (read more).
- A June 24, 2013 The New Yorker issue will feature a story on the battle to end Alzheimer's. According to an online excerpt of the piece, "In the United States alone, roughly five million people suffer from Alzheimer’s, a figure that is expected to more than double by 2050. The annual cost to the nation for treating the disease may then approach a trillion dollars; the cost in suffering is incalculable.Yet three decades of Alzheimer’s research has done little to change the course of the disease. Although several initially promising agents have been developed to reverse or at least slow the decline of cognitive function, successive experimental trials have failed. Some drug therapies come with unpleasant side effects, including headaches and bleeding and swelling of the brain." Full article is behind a pay wall.
- A June 15, 2013 UPI.com article reported that "Drugs used for hypertension or insomnia may also help reduce the development of amyloid plaques, which is linked to Alzheimer's." According to the article, "Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti of the Mount Sinai Medical Center and a research team used a computer algorithm to screen 1,600 commercially available medications to assess their impact on the brain accumulation of beta-amyloid, a protein abnormally accumulated in the brain of Alzheimer's disease."
- A June 13, 2013 Washington Post article reported that former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton highlighted sequestration's negative impact on medical research during a speech to Chicago for Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy. According to Clinton, "In the days and months ahead, all of us who care deeply about finding a cure for [epilepsy] and other diseases need to be very loud and passionate about the continued research funding that is necessary...I do think there has to be a greater awareness on the part of the American people about what this will mean – not just today or next week, but in years to come...I would certainly encourage a lot of citizen action to bring attention to the cuts in research funding and the consequences that that will cause.” Also reported on by CBS News.
- A June 17, 2013 LowellSun.com (MA) article highlighted the rising cost and cases of Alzheimer's nationwide and in Massachusetts. According to the article, "...more families will experience the travails of the Osborne Pollards as the number of Americans with Alzheimer's more than doubles over the next 30 years...In Massachusetts, nearly 903,000 people, or 13.8 percent of the population, are over 65. The Census Bureau estimates that within 17 years 20.1 percent of the state's population will be over 65, compared to the nation's projected aged population of 19.7 percent."
- A June 15, 2013 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opinion piece by Mark Sager, director of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, highlighted the nation's growing Alzheimer's problem and advocated for increased research funding. According to Dr. Sager, "Alzheimer's is one of the most feared of all diseases of aging. It is one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. There is no cure, and there are no effective treatments. No one has ever survived. The fiscal and human costs of Alzheimer's are intergenerational and will change our society if we ignore them...The federal government, through the National Institutes of Health, currently spends only a half-billion dollars a year on Alzheimer's research. This is significantly less than what is spent on research on other diseases including cancer ($5.4 billion), heart disease ($4 billion) and HIV/AIDS ($3 billion). We have made great progress in understanding and treating these diseases because of substantial commitments to build the research infrastructure necessary for developing new treatments...Placing a man on the moon required an eight-year national commitment. A similar commitment must be made to Alzheimer's disease research and care. The costs of inaction for families and our society have never been clearer."
- HHS Releases 2013 Update To The National Alzheimer's Plan [The Alzheimer's Association PR] (6/15/13)