Today's Top Alzheimer's News

George Vradenburg calls on the G8 to establish a "path forward" to stop Alzheimer's by 2025, the NFL settles with players over concussion-related brain disorders including dementia, and the impact of budget cuts on Alzheimer's research at the Mayo Clinic (read more).         

Must reads

  • An August 29, 2013 Huffington Post opinion piece by USA2 Chairman George Vradenburg called on the G8 to "lay out an agenda for a global response that includes innovative approaches to care, treatment, and prevention, as well as financing." According to Vradenburg, "Prime Minister Cameron should be applauded for his commitment to develop a global response to address Alzheimer's disease. As the G8's London Dementia Summit nears, let's encourage Mr. Cameron and others in G8 to establish the path forward on a global agenda to prevent Alzheimer's by 2025."
  • An August 29, 2013 Associated Press article (via The Washington Post) reported that the NFL "agreed to pay more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to settle lawsuits from thousands of former players who developed dementia or other concussion-related brain disorders they say were caused by the very on-field violence that fueled the game’s rise to popularity and profit." According to the article, "The settlement applies to all 18,000 past NFL players and spouses of those who are deceased — a group that could total more than 20,000 — and will cost the league $765 million, the vast majority of which would go to compensate athletes with certain neurological ailments, plus plaintiffs’ attorney fees. It sets aside $75 million for medical exams and $10 million for medical research."
  • An August 30, 2013 Minnesota Public Radio article reported on the impact of federal budget cuts on the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic. According to the article, "Scientists at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic increasingly are turning their attention away from their research to fundraising to make up for a drop in federal grants that occurred after the federal government cut the National Institutes of Health budget by $1.7 billion…The federal budget cuts also hit the research budget of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, where Dr. Ronald Peterson studies aging and Alzheimer's disease.One of Peterson's projects is a large study of residents of the surrounding Olmsted County as they age. Typically, his researchers have met with participants every year. But they will no longer be able to thanks to reduced funding from the NIH."

 Opinions 

  • An August 29, 2013 Forbes opinion piece by Wayne Winegarden highlighted the negative impact of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) decision not to cover a new PET scan for Alzheimer's patients. According to Winegarden, "Large, and expanding, bureaucracies thwart innovation.  And, health care bureaucracies are no different.  The U.S. health care bureaucracy is expanding; both dramatically (e.g. the implementation of the Affordable Care Act) and gradually.  A recent decision proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) exemplifies the dangers to medical innovation and patients represented by the gradual expansion of the health care bureaucracy…In the short-term, CMS should remove the restrictions denying coverage for PET scans that could help detect the early stages of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.  Beyond the FDA’s approval, a large number of doctors, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging all support the use of PET scan technology because they believe that some patients can benefit."
  • An August 29, 2013 NoozHawk (CA) opinion piece by the Alzheimer's Association's Luciana Cramer underscored the impact of Alzheimer's on the American economy and families. According to Cramer, "These large and almost incomprehensible numbers do have consequences. Unless we find a cure or a way of preventing it, Alzheimer’s will take a heavy toll on our health-care and financial systems. But the impact will be most hardly felt on everyday American homes."

 

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