Today's Top Alzheimer's News

The battle for adequate Alzheimer's funding, the Washington Post profiles a day in the life of dementia care nursing aid, and researchers erase and restore memories in mice (read more). 

Must reads

  • A June 1, 2014 Tulsa World article reported on the "battle for adequate Alzheimer's funding" and included quotes from USAgainstAlzheimer's co-founder George Vradenburg. According to the article, "Vradenburg and Gillings are men on a mission, as are so many other champions locally, nationally and internationally who work day in and day out to destroy the memory thief. Yet, despite all the alarm bells, passion, advocacy, lobbying, fundraising, appeals to Congress and to world leaders, Alzheimer’s disease marches on. “This is not an acceptable situation,” warns Vradenburg. “Something fundamental has to change. We need a concerted effort to change the trajectory of this disease and to mobilize a global assault on Alzheimer’s and dementia on the scale and scope that global institutions attacked polio in the 1950s and HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s.”
  • A May 31, 2014 Washington Post article profiled the life of a nursing aid in a dementia care facility and the implications of working in one of the "fastest growing" jobs in America. According to the article, "Her hope was placed in the fastest-growing job in America - cornerstone of the recovery, what government economists referred to as "the opportunity point" in the greatest economy in the world. It was changing bedpans, pushing wheelchairs, cleaning catheters and brushing teeth. Pay was just better than minimum wage. Burnout rates were among the highest of any career. This was how the economy looked from the bottom up in 2014: the fastest-growing job was also among the hardest, and the place of opportunity was in fact the place of last resort."What Does It Mean To Be A Nurse Aide?" read the cover of the first class handout, and Tereza flipped the page to see a series of charts. The number of Americans age 65 and older was expected to double by 2050, to more than 84 million. That meant double the nursing homes, double the hospice personnel and double the home health agencies."

Research and science 

  • A June 1, 2014 US News & World Report article reported that a team of University of California San Diego researchers have discovered how to erase and restore memories in mice. According to the article, "California researchers successfully erased and then restored certain memories in rats, a new study declares, offering a potential path for treating Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress disorder and other brain ailments…And they did it all in a literal flash of light. “It’s very tiny, a fluorescent light that’s shined in, directed precisely at the target that they want it to be aimed at,” says neurologist Chiiko Asanuma, a project officer at the National Institute of Mental Health, which helped fund the study. The light, fed through a fiber-optic cable, is flashed in different patterns into the rats’ skulls. At lower frequencies – such as once a second – it erased memories; at higher frequencies, it strengthened them."

Alzheimer's and minorities 

  • A May 31, 2014 The Journal Times (WI) article reported on the impact of Alzheimer's on Racine, Wisconsin's poor minority population. According to the article, "Macias has Alzheimer’s disease and his situation is not uncommon in Racine County. The area’s high minority population and large number of blue-collar workers make the potential for Alzheimer’s much greater, and things will only get worse as baby boomers age, according to the Southeastern Wisconsin chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, a nonprofit trying to eliminate Alzheimer’s and obtain better care for those with the disease…Like minorities, blue-collar workers — including Macias and those who worked alongside him on the line at American Motors, or at the area’s countless other factories — are more likely to get Alzheimer’s. Again, blue-collar workers tend to have less access to good food and care, and tend to develop medical conditions that increase the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. Plus, blue-collar jobs usually require less brain use, McGill said." 

 

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