Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Sen. Pat Toomey calls for more focus and funding for Alzheimer's research, issues with the US and Europe's brain mapping programs, and a new Alzheimer's drug is fast tracked by the FDA (read more). 

Must read

  • A July 11, 2014 Pittsburg Post-Gazette opinion piece by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) underscored his dedication to flighting Alzheimer's. According Sen. Toomey, "As a member of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s, I am committed to finding the most responsible and effective way of ensuring that this work continues and succeeds. Recently, I’ve signed on to bipartisan legislation that requires the director of the National Institutes of Health to annually submit his professional recommendation on the appropriate level of funding needed to meet the challenge of Alzheimer’s disease to both Congress and the president. It’s important that we determine how much funding is needed to cure this disease and reshape our budget priorities accordingly."

Research, science, and technology 

  • A July 10, 2014 Slate opinion piece by AAAS Mass Media Fellow Jane Hu argued that the US and European brain mapping programs need better focus. According to Hu, "There are many good reasons to revamp the goals of the HBP, as well as BRAIN. For one thing, the goals of these projects are unfocused. What it means to “understand the human brain” is undefined. HBP and BRAIN have been compared with the Human Genome Project, but that effort was very straightforward. It had a clear goal: sequencing all base pairs of human DNA. And it had clear methods: When the project began, we already had the basic technical tools necessary to sequence genetic base pairs (although improvements in technique sped up the process)...Leaders at BRAIN and HBP should listen to outside scientists’ requests: If we are to achieve the ultimate goal of understanding the brain, BRAIN and HBP need to widen the scope of the research they fund and define incremental goals. The aim of the Human Genome Project was not to “understand the human body”—it set a definable, achievable goal, and it was a rousing success. We should take the comparison with the genome project more seriously and do the same for HBP and BRAIN." Jane Hu is completing a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of California-Berkeley and is a 2014 AAAS Mass Media Fellow. Also reported on by the Daily Beast.
  • A July 10, 2014 Triad Business Journal article reported "TransTech Pharma has come to an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration over plans for the upcoming Phase 3 trial of a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease." According to the article, "The High Point-based TransTech submitted those plans to the agency last summer, following successful Phase 2 trials of the drug known as TTP488. The FDA has already designated TTP488 for “fast track” status because of its unique and potentially important approach to attacking Alzheimer’s by targeting a biochemical target known as the “receptor for advanced glycation endproducts,” or RAGE."

 

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