Today's Top Alzheimer's News

FDA approved Alzheimer's drug patch, the latest in Alzheimer's detection research, and Scottland's looming dementia crisis (read more).

 

Must reads

  • A July 7, 2013 NJ.com article reported that "the Food and Drug Administration approved a high-dose skin patch application from Novartis to treat symptoms of severe Alzheimer’s." According to the article, "The Novartis patch, called Exelon, was previously approved for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and it remains the only federally approved patch for the disease. The three other FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drugs also target symptoms only, but come in capsule form. While pharmaceutical companies and research institutions continue to chase a cure, the only proven successes have been with drugs like Exelon that slow the disease’s progress but don’t affect the underlying cause."
  • A July 7, 2013 Philly.com article profiled Dr. Ronald Petersen's research into early Alzheimer's detection. According to the article, "Scientists believe that the "preclinical" phase of Alzheimer's - the period when errant proteins are accumulating and the brain is changing but there are no symptoms - may last 15 years. The goal is to diagnose and treat people before their brains are irreparably damaged. Doctors can't do that yet, but researchers are studying how brain images and tests of spinal fluid correlate with changes in thinking and memory." Petersen is director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

 Advocacy 

  • A July 7, 2013 The Gazette (IA) letter-to-the-editor advocated for increased funding for Alzheimer's research and education. According to the letter, "Based on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study in the April issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the United States and costing even more than heart disease and cancer.What do you think?…We are at a critical moment and it is incumbent upon the nation’s leaders to ensure the promise of the National Alzheimer’s Plan. As the Labor-Health Human Services Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee prepares the 2014 Appropriations Bill it is essential they include an additional $100 million for Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach and caregiver support."
  • A July 7, 2013 Billings Gazette (MT) letter-to-the-editor urged Senator John Tester (D-MT) "to support a strong National Alzheimer's Plan with the needed resources, including $100 million in fiscal year 2014, for Alzheimer's research, education, outreach and caregiver support activities." According to the letter, "Alzheimer's is already America's most expensive disease. It is devastating physically, emotionally and financially to all it touches. And the number of families impacted by Alzheimer's will only continue to escalate if resources are not allocated now."

 International 

  • A July 7, 2013 BBC News article reported on Scottland's looming dementia crisis. According to the article, "The call came after the party obtained NHS Scotland figures which showed that more than 183,000 prescriptions for dementia drugs were handed out in 2012.That was 30,000 more prescriptions than in 2011-12 and nearly 50,000 more than in 2010-11, although the dementia drugs bill has fallen during that time…There are currently about 86,000 people in Scotland with dementia, mainly with Alzheimer's disease."

 

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