Today's Top Alzheimer's News

UCLA researchers developing "molecular tweezers" to tackle Alzheimer's, the latest on Amyloid PET scan policy, and how technology is transforming caregiving (read more). 

Must reads

  • An April 11, 2014 MedCity News article reported that UCLA researchers are developing "molecular tweezers" to help prevent or cure degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. According to the article, "In the case of Alzheimer’s, the proteins that build up and destruct nerve cells are amyloid beta and tau. As described by UCLA, the molecular tweezers have a horseshoe shape and wrap around chains of chains of lysine, a basic amino acid within most proteins, to prevent the proteins from joining together. The team says the compounds have demonstrated improvement in seven different disease models, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, with no known side effects."
  • An April 10, 2014 MinnPost article reported on session at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference focused on Amyloid PET scan policy. According to the article, "Although “cooler heads … with less directly connected wallets” suggested during the session that CMS was asking “the right questions about the economics of health care and treating with appropriate seriousness the question of outcomes,” the other participants — the ones furious with CMS — dominated the meeting, writes Molchan. The industry representatives and their supporters talked about how they would attempt to get CMS to reverse its decision. “Proposed strategies included applying pressure on CMS officials through members of Congress and senior officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, igniting a grassroots campaign, and finally conducting studies to collect evidence on outcome,” writes Molchan.

Research, science, and technology 

  • An April 10, 2014 Huffington Post piece highlighted the benefits of technology for caregivers, including medication management and emergency monitoring. According to the article, "Caregiving technology can help you keep an eye on a loved one from afar, reduce stress, and provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your parent will be able to be monitored round the clock, even if you can't be there. AARP recently published a study that predicts a major shortage in caregivers over the coming years. By 2030, when the last of the Baby Boomers has turned 65, the caregiver support ratio (which is currently around 7 caregivers per each high-risk 80-year-old) will fall to 4 to 1 and continue to drop as the Boomers age into their 80's. So technology is trying to pick up the slack."

 

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