Today's Top Alzheimer's News

The importance of early Alzheimer's detection, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid decides on limited coverage for Alzheimer's brain scans, and inventor of the computer mouse dies after a battle with Alzheimer's (read more).    

Must reads

  • A July 4, 2013 Herald-Tribune article reported on the importance of early Alzheimer's detection to finding a cure. According to the article, "Drug companies’ desperate efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease have resulted in repeated failures at the human trial stage. Now researchers say at least they know why: Changes in the brain begin years before a person shows any sign of memory impairment...In response, neuroscientists are working to understand how and why early signs of the disease — known as biomarkers — develop into full-blown dementia. Researchers also are beginning to call for a new approach to the terminal disorder — as something to accept, not fear."
  • A July 3, 2013 ModernHealthcare.com article reported that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid said "it will not provide widespread coverage of a pricey new test that is used to identify brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease, but it will cover one scan per patient in limited instances." According to the article, "In a July 3 coverage decision, the CMS said Medicare will cover one scan per patient in two instances: efforts to exclude Alzheimer's disease in “narrowly defined and clinically difficult differential diagnoses” and “to enrich clinical trials seeking better treatments or prevention strategies."The agency also said it will incorporate the test in the “coverage with evidence development” (CED) program, which grants conditional reimbursement for what it considers promising new medical technologies while tracking the technology's impact on health outcomes." Read Eli Lilly's statement on the decision here.
  • A July 3, 2013 Bloomberg News article reported on the varying opinions of scientists over the value of brain scans used to test for Alzheimer's disease. According to the article, "Opponents counter that coverage would be a waste of money because Alzheimer’s remains incurable and knowing whether a person has the disease is of little or no benefit."

 Politics

  • A July 3, 2013 East Valley Tribune (AZ) article reported that newly elected Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) mentioned her commitment to research funding during a town hall in Tempe. According to the article, "She also mentioned a desire to increase the funding in the Congressional research and development to help find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s she said could provide savings for the country’s budget."
  • A July 3, 2013 Missoulian (MT) letter-to-the-editor called on Sen. Jon Tester to "reverse the devastating across-the-board “sequestration” spending cuts now occurring throughout the federal government." According to the author, "I am a graduate student in neuroscience at the University of Montana where I study the processes involved in learning and memory formation in the brain and the ways that these processes can be disrupted by injury or disease. NIH provides critical funding needed to understand memory loss associated with traumatic brain injury or Alzheimer’s disease and thousands of other brain-based diseases and disorders affecting millions of Americans. The science funded by NIH also forms the foundation for growth in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and many other industries."

 Notable deaths

  • A July 5, 2013 Associated Press article reported that the inventor of the mouse, Doug Engelbart, died at the age of 88 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. According to the article, "Back in the 1950s and '60s, when mainframes took up entire rooms and were fed data on punch cards, Engelbart already was envisioning a day when computers would empower people to share ideas and solve problems in ways that seemed unfathomable at the time."
  • A July 4, 2013 GMA News article reported that John Wilson, the animator of the Disney movie "The Lady and Tramp," died at the age of 99 after a battle with Alzheimer's. According to the article, "Wilson, who suffered from Alzheimer's in his last four years, also worked on projects with other studios such as "Mr. Magoo" for UPA and "The Flintstones" for Hanna-Barbera."

 

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