Today's Top Alzheimer's News

A new report on the gender gap in medical research, new Alzheimer's drug needed to curb billions in health-care spending, a Bloomberg View graphic explores how Americans die, and Texas researchers use supercomputer to find a link between cancer and Alzheimer's (read more). 

Must reads

  • An April 22, 2014 WBUR (NPR Boston) article by Paula Johnson highlighted a new report that "reveals that two decades after the landmark NIH Revitalization Act, sex-specific research is still not the norm...many women are receiving recommendations from their doctors for prevention strategies, diagnostic tests and medical treatments based on research that has not adequately included women." According to the article, "The report, entitled, “Sex-Specific Medical Research: Why Women’s Health Can’t Wait,” co-authored by The Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and The Jacobs Institute at George Washington University, provides evidence that the science that informs medicine either inadequately includes women or fails to consider the critical impact of sex and gender."
  • An April 21, 2014 Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Kenneth Davis underscored the importance of tackling Alzheimer's to curb billions in health-care savings. According to Davis, "If we are to have any chance of mitigating this epidemic, we must find ways to encourage the development of drugs that slow the progression or delay the onset of the inevitable brain failure that characterizes Alzheimer's. Specifically, we need to find incentives for the development of drugs that alter the course of the disease...Congress should apply the same rationale that sparked success in orphan-drug discovery and pass legislation that incentivizes Alzheimer's drug development. The need is huge, the stakes are high, and the precedent has been set." Dr. Davis is the CEO and president of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. His wife, Dr. Bonnie Davis, is a researcher and inventor of Alzheimer's therapeutics. [Full article attached]
  • An April 2014 Bloomberg View graphic featured explored the ways that "Americans die," including two slides on the impact of Alzheimer's.  

Research and science 

  • An April 22, 2014 KQED (NPR) audio segment featured an interview with Stanley Prusiner, director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and professor of neurology at UCSF, focused on future of brain disease research. According to the description, "We talk with Stanley Prusiner about the future of brain disease research and his new book, Madness and Memory: The Discovery of Prions -- A New Biological Principle of Disease."
  • An April 21, 2014 Texas Advanced Computing Center article reported that "A team led by Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI) scientists has found that Alzheimer's disease and cancer share a pathway in gene transcription, a process essential for cell reproduction and growth." According to the article, "The scientists used the Lonestar and Stampede supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin to analyze and compare data from thousands of genes and to narrow the search for common cell signaling pathways of the two diseases. The Lonestar and Stampede systems are part of the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), a single virtual system that scientists use to interactively share computing resources, data and expertise."
  • An April 21, 2014 Stanford SCOPE article featured an interview with Stanford neurologist Michael Greicius on the state of Alzheimer’s research including his thoughts on cognitive gaming. According to Greicius, "What about those cognitive-memory games marketed to the elderly and touted as salves for memory loss – do they have any benefit? He’s riled now: “I get asked that all the time, and smoke starts coming out of my ears.” He says the games are nothing more than snake oil.  His advice when he gets asked the question: “Give that money to the Alzheimer’s Association or save it and get down on the floor with your grandkids and build Legos. That’s also a great cognitive exercise and more emotionally rewarding.”"

 

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