Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Long-term care insurance proves tricky for women, the need to help dementia patients remain valuable community members, and a new approach to Alzheimer's research focused on human-based models (read more).  

Must reads

  • A May 21, 2014 Chicago Tribune article reported on issues with long-term care insurance and particular issues with coverage for women. "Baby boomers face a dilemma: At a time when long-term-care insurers are shrinking coverage, more boomers than ever are recognizing the need to protect their retirement savings from potentially devastating costs. Big players have withdrawn from the market, and those that remain are scaling back benefits, tightening eligibility and hiking premiums, especially for women…The reason: Women generate more long-term-care claims than men, and their claims tend to be more expensive, says Beth Ludden, vice-president of long-term care at Genworth. They are often their husbands' caregivers, but they may later need to pay for long-term care for themselves."
  • A May 21, 2014 The Guardian (UK) opinion piece by Dr. Bill Thomas underscored the need for to help dementia sufferers "remain valuable members of their community." According to Thomas, "The top priority must be to change the frame of reference so dementia isn't seen negatively, and people aren't subject to terrible stigma as soon as they're diagnosed. People with the condition have told me how they are often sidelined and treated as second-class citizens because of their diagnosis. We need to adopt a more pro-age approach to how society recognises older people. We're starting to see this happen in the US. There is a grassroots movement in Seattle called Momentia, in which people living with dementia accept cognitive impairment as a part of who they are, and continue to make a valid contribution to society."Dr Bill Thomas is the creator of the Green House Project and developed the Senior ER model of care.
  • A May 20, 2014 The Fiscal Times opinion piece by Michael Hodin highlighted the need for the US and British governments to focus on stimulating research innovation. According to the article, "Instead, they should be asking what could be done to ensure that the R&D pharmaceutical sector remains vibrant, ambitious, and well-funded. In the coming decades, with over two billion people growing into old age, and health care costs still rising ahead of inflation, the “miracles” of the 20th century that contributed mightily to our current longevity will be essential. These are not questions for a CEO, but for policymakers who create the conditions that enable or discourage investment that leads to jobs, innovation and economic growth."

Research and science 

  • A May 20, 2014 BBC News article reported on the need for a new approach to Alzheimer's research focused on human-based models. According to the article, "Dr Gillian Langley, a scientist and consultant for the animal welfare charity, Humane Society International, is among a growing body of scientists who believe current research relies too much on animal models."Medical research is at a tipping point," she told BBC News. "There is a growing realisation that animal studies are not producing the breakthroughs we're hoping for." Writing in the journal Drug Discovery Today, she said it was time to consider a new paradigm in medical research for Alzheimer's disease. Research was "lagging behind" areas such as toxicology, which is using research based on molecular disease pathways within cells and new tools such as genomics, she said."

 

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