Today's Top Alzheimer's News

NIH's Francis Collins and Sen. Barbara Mikulski want to cancel sequester, the complex process of diagnosis brain disorders, and the impact of reading and writing on dementia (read more).  

 

Must reads

  • A July 8, 2013 Baltimore Sun article reported that "Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, joined Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, [John] Hopkins executives and a stroke survivor at Hopkins' Children's Center to appeal for restoration of $1.5 billion in NIH funding cuts as part of the budget "sequester" approved last winter by Congress." According to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, "Sure, I want to reduce our public debt...But I want to be able to reduce other things. I want to be able to reduce the rates of Alzheimer's in this country. I want to be able to reduce autism." Also covered by MedPage.
  • A July 8, 2013 Phys.org article reported that Rutgers University has launched a neuroscience consortium. According to the article, "The consortium is the first step in an initiative by Rutgers to establish a teaching, learning, and research environment where resources and knowledge are readily available across all academic and medical disciplines and where neuroscientists are better equipped to compete for dwindling government research dollars."

 Research and science

  • A July 8, 2013 Science Daily article reported that a study from Birmingham City University have "found that sufferers of a specific type of cognitive impairment have an increased loss of cells in certain parts of the brain, which can be vital in detecting which patients will progress to a diagnosis of Alzheimer's."
  • A July 8, 2013 NPR article reported on the complex process of developing "simple tests for brain disorders." According to the article, "Currently there are no physical tests for most disorders that affect the mind. Lab tests like these could transform the field of mental illness. So far efforts to come up with biomarkers for common mental health disorders have proved largely fruitless. That doesn't stop people from trying. Doctors are looking to create them, and patients are taking them, too, even though they know that existing biomarkers — for Alzheimer's disease, for instance — have serious limitations."
  • A July 8, 2013 NPR article reported that recent research has found reading and writing slows dementia. According to the article, "A study published in the scholarly journal Neurology [subscription only] says that, although there is no cure for dementia, "reading, writing, and playing games" can slow the disease's progress. The scientists, led by Robert S. Wilson, asked 294 patients about their reading habits over the course of about 6 years, and then tested their brains for dementia after their deaths. The study showed that mentally active patients — ones who read and wrote regularly — declined at a significantly slower rate than those who had an average amount of activity."

 

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