Today's Top Alzheimer's News
The need to invest in NIH to fight diseases like Alzheimer's, Meryl Comer talks about her new book "Slow Dancing With A Stranger: Lost And Found In The Age Of Alzheimer's" with Diane Rehm, and smart-home technology helps manage Alzheimer's care (read more).
Must reads and listen
- An August 26, 2014 The Deseret News opinion piece by Dr. Vivian S. Lee called for greater investment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to Dr. Lee, "Our lawmakers are at a crossroads when it comes to investing in the health of our country. We are on the cusp of major breakthroughs for diseases that have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. – cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and Alzheimer’s. If we do not make the investment now in finding cures and treatments, we will pay later. Consider that Alzheimer’s currently costs the U.S. $200 billion a year. Without a breakthrough treatment or cure, that cost will reach $1 trillion by the year 2050. This is a price our country cannot afford. Now is the time to make up for the past decade of stagnant funding for NIH. As the old adage goes, “You do not have anything if you do not have your health.” Without a healthy funding investment for NIH, nothing else matters."
- An August 25, 2014 The Diane Rehm Show radio broadcast featured USAgainstAlzheimer's board member Meryl Comer talking about her new book "Slow Dancing With A Stranger: Lost And Found In The Age Of Alzheimer's." According to the description, "Alzheimer’s disease affects a reported 36 million people worldwide. But Meryl Comer had never heard of it when her husband was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 58. The award-winning journalist gave up her television career to take care of him at home -- for nearly two decades. In a new book, she details her life as a caregiver: the struggle to get a diagnosis, the emotional and financial hardships and the limitations of long-term facilities. She says public conversation about the disease should be about earlier diagnosis, so our brain span can match our lifespan. Diane talks with Meryl Comer about her husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s." Listen here.
- An August 25, 2014 Huffington Post opinion piece by Llewellyn King underscored the need for increased public spending on medical research as the private sector is less willing to take chances on drug development. According to King, "Developing new drugs has become too expensive for the private sector, according to a recent article in Nature. The magazine says the pipeline for new antibiotics, so vital in fighting infectious disease, has collapsed as Big Pharma has withdrawn. The latest to leave is Novartis, which has ceased work on its tuberculosis drug and handed it over to a charity coalition. Government funding for medical research is now at a critical stage. It has flatlined since 2000, as medical costs have ballooned. Also, congressional sequestration has hit hard. Stop-and-start funding breaks careers, destroys institutional knowledge and sets the world back on its scientific heels. That is to say nothing of the sick, like those with Ebola or CFS, who lie in their beds waiting for someone to do something."
Science, research, and technology
- An August 25, 2014 CNN Tech article highlighted the impact of smart-home technology to help manage Alzheimer's care. According to the article, "Caregivers like Johnson are increasingly turning to smart-home technology and wearable devices to monitor family members with Alzheimer's and dementia, helping them live independently longer. One of the first things Alzheimer's patients lose is the ability to learn new things. It makes getting their bearings and adjusting to a new residence especially difficult. But living alone can pose its own dangers, such as leaving a stove on, wandering off or forgetting to take medication...Connected home and wearable technology isn't enough to replace professional care or personal attention from family members. However, it can extend the amount of time a person is able to live independently, and the technology is constantly improving."
- An August 22, 2014 Huffington Post article by ClergyAgainstAlzheimer's member Jade Angelica highlighted the role of acceptance and gratitude in transforming spiritual practices for Alzheimer's caregivers. According to Angelica, "Alzheimer's disease gives us countless opportunities to be grateful for the gift of knowing that we can make a difference. For example, we can lobby Congress for more research, participate in fundraisers for finding cause and cure, demand that care centers and home-care providers become trained to deliver specialized care, and promote social awareness so people with Alzheimer's can be active in their communities.Our challenging journey toward acceptance can transform our personal pain and loss into meaningful, healing experiences for our selves, our loved ones, and others who are touched by Alzheimer's disease. For this healing, transforming potential we give thanks and praise."