Today's Top Alzheimer's News
June 20, 2013
Alzheimer's global impact surpasing AIDS, big data and Alzheimer's, and Peyton Manning's efforts to raise Alzheimer's awareness (read more)
- A June 19, 2013 Jerusalem Post article reported on the global Alzheimer's epidemic. According to the article, "AIDS, which affects millions of patients around the world, is a relatively minor plague compared to the epidemic of dementia -- especially Alzheimer’s disease -- that will occur around the world in the coming decades."
- A June 19, 2013 New York Times article reported on the efforts of researchers to leverage new "big data" technology to develop insights into complex diseases like Alzheimer's. According to the article, "The technology makes it possible not only to observe life at the molecular level as never before, but also to explore how the minute ingredients of biology and the environment influence each other in individual humans — and personalize treatment. People with similar genetic traits, Dr. Schadt notes, often have very different health outcomes. Chronic ailments like cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s are not caused by single genes, he said, but are “complex, networked disorders.” The Mount Sinai researchers, Dr. Schadt said, intend to combine genetic information with the medical histories — weight, age, gender, vital signs, tobacco use, toxic exposure and other data — to build more sophisticated models of biology and health outcomes.""
Caregiving and treatment
- A June 19, 2013 WashingtonPost.com article reported on the use of musical therapy to treat dementia patients. According to Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University and a co-author of The Alzheimer’s Action Plan, "It does tend to brighten them up, to make them more alert, more socially active, and I suspect for the duration [of the session] there is a distinct cognitive improvement...Music allows them to express joy, it allows them to express sadness. If they have pent-up emotions that they don’t have a release for, playing music might provide them with an avenue to express those emotions.”
- A June 20, 2013 Associated Press (via Denverpost.com) article reported that "Peyton Manning and Kara Lawson are taking part in a new commercial due out nationally this fall hoping to bring awareness to Alzheimer's disease and support the Pat Summitt Foundation's push to find a cure."
- A June 19, 2013 DeseretNews.com (UT) letter-to-the-editor urged readers to support the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act. According to the author, "Alzheimer's disease is becoming the most expensive malady in the country. Coupled with the numbers in the baby boom generation, the costs of treating it will skyrocket at a rate rarely occurring in chronic diseases. Utah will have the highest per capita prevalence increase of Alzheimer's among all states — a 127 percent increase by 2025."
- A June 20, 2013 USA Today article reported that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hopes player safety is his legacy. According to the article, "The NFL is facing perhaps its greatest existential crisis. A growing body of evidence suggests blows to the head from playing the game can lead to ills such as dementia, depression and Alzheimer's disease. More than 4,000 former players are suing the NFL, arguing that the league spread misinformation about neurological risks even as it profited from the game's violent nature. Goodell, 54, says much of the innovation during his tenure has come in the crucial area of player safety. In 2009, the NFL disbanded its Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, which had refuted a link between the game and chronic brain damage. In 2010, safety rules were expanded with a focus on illegal hits to the head. In 2011, the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee created a standardized concussion assessment protocol and the league committed more than $100 million to medical research with a special focus on brain injuries."