Today's Top Alzheimer's News

New research finds Alzheimer's can develop as early as adolescence, Douglas Schoen cautions that partisan bickering is distracting from finding a cure to diseases like Alzheimer's, and dementia's effects on recognizing famous faces (read more).    

 

Must reads

  • An August 12, 2013 Bloomberg article reported that "A person’s chance of getting dementia before age 65 may develop as early as adolescence, according to a study that suggests teens with high blood pressure or who drink excessively are at risk."
  • An August 12, 2013 Consumer Reports article (via the Washington Post) article highlighted the pros and cons of PET scans to diagnose Alzheimer's. According to the article, "If you have serious memory loss and your doctor can’t find a clear cause, then a PET scan can be a reasonable next step. Learning that you have early-stage Alzheimer’s can allow you and your family to consider medication and plan for the future. But note that Consumer Reports’ Best Buy Drugs report on Alzheimer’s drugs found that they don’t work well for most people and often cause side effects."
  • An August 12, 2013 Fox News opinion piece by pollster Douglas Schoen argued that the partisan debate over Obamacare is distracting the nation from being a leader in medical innovation. According to Schoen, "This partisan bickering is unproductive for our country and, more importantly, preventing us from addressing the real challenges facing our nation…There are over 600 neurological disorders affecting millions of Americans every year.  Some of these disorders are well known such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis, while others are more obscure, but they are all severely crippling. In addition to physical suffering, these disorders cause both patients and their families immense pain and hardship, and cost the U.S. government billions of dollars…At a time when the implementation of health care reform remains a point of contention between the Democrats and Republicans, it is critical that we do not let these types of innovative medical achievements go unnoticed, or lose focus on the need for a continued national commitment to develop new, lifesaving medicines and treatments."
  • An August 12, 2013 USA Today article reported that "People ages 40 to 65 with a type of early-onset dementia are less likely to be able to name — or even recognize — very famous folks such as Princess Di, Oprah Winfrey, John F. Kennedy, Lucille Ball and Elvis Presley than those who don't have this type of dementia, a new study shows." According to the article, "Rogalski and colleagues worked with 27 people without dementia and 30 study participants who had been diagnosed with a type of early-onset dementia called primary progressive aphasia. It mostly damages language skills and gets worse over time, Rogalski says. The average age of participants in both groups in the study was 62. All were asked to identify 20 famous people in black-and-white photos.

 

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