Today's Top Alzheimer's News
April 28, 2014
Alzheimer's research funding or fighter planes, the changing pharmaceutical landscape and what it means for treatments for diseases like Alzheimer's, and the need to invest in brain health (read more).
- An April 27, 2014 Observer-Reporter (PA) article highlighted the need for increased research funding for Alzheimer's. According to the article, "By putting more money into Alzheimer's research today we could well save a great deal of money over the long haul. Federal funding for research was increased by $100 million this year, but the Alzheimer's Association is asking for $200 million more. The blogger Steven Brawner pointed out earlier this month that $200 million is “less than the cost of two of the Pentagon's proposed 2,400 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes – a weapons system that, as '60 Minutes' recently reported, is $163 billion over budget and several years behind schedule.”"
- An April 26, 2014 The Guardian (UK) article reported on the efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to develop innovative treatments in the face of budget cuts and other constraints. According to the article, "Pharmaceutical companies are faced with declining revenues from best-selling mass-market drugs as they come off patent, and growing price pressure from health authorities around the world. They have reacted by slimming down their massive salesforces, pushing into emerging markets, opting for collaborations with rivals and academics, or buying in promising experimental treatments from biotech firms…Other potential new blockbusters include asthma drugs Anoro from GSK and Ultribro from Novartis. GSK, which makes $8bn a year from its top-selling Advair/Seretide asthma treatment, is trying to broaden its respiratory portfolio to become less dependent on one product. However, treatments for brain diseases Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, which are still not well understood, are the most desired breakthrough. AstraZeneca is fast-tracking an experimental Alzheimer's treatment, which Soriot regards as a "hidden gem", into late-stage trials this year." Also reported on by the Financial Times.
- An April 25, 2014 The Hill opinion piece by Sandra Bond Chapman underscored the importance of investing in brain health. According to Chapman, "Impaired brain function from illness or injury can affect anyone, at any age. A young child is diagnosed with autism. A high school athlete fights to recover from a concussion. A warrior returns home from battle with a head injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. A senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Such conditions can be debilitating, depressing and life-limiting…Better brain health for all Americans is an ambitious goal, yes, but we can achieve it. We cannot afford not to. We are discovering that the human brain has a seemingly limitless ability to adapt, recover and overcome. Let’s keep working to apply what we have learned to enhance brain health for all." Chapman, Ph.D. is the founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas.