Today's Top Alzheimer's News

The importance of an early Alzheimer's diagnosis, Senator Amy Klobuchar's support of research funding for Alzheimer's, and John Porter calls on Congress to prioritize medical innovation (read more). 

 

Must reads

  • An August 19, 2013 Chicago Daily Herald article reported on the need importance of early Alzheimer's diagnosis for patients and families. According to the article, "Without timely diagnosis, people with Alzheimer's lose valuable months when medications can most effectively slow their memory loss. The delay in diagnosis robs families of the chance to enjoy their time together and make financial and legal plans for the future. Alzheimer's is now the nation's sixth-leading cause of death, with 5.4 million people affected. Even so, physicians can be slow to identify the disease in the elderly, despite the fact that old age is the greatest risk factor. And doctors can be even more reluctant to diagnose people below the age of 65 who suffer from the rare, early-onset form of the illness."
  • A September 2013 Harvard Magazine article highlighted the impact of Alzheimer's on individuals and the public. According to the article, "If the spread of Alzheimer’s continues as predicted, the disease could cost private and public payers combined more than $1 trillion a year. Currently, regional assisted-living facilities cost between $7,000 and $9,000 a month, and rely primarily on private payments that only a small fraction of Americans can afford. The vast majority of elders will ultimately go to nursing homes that are typically covered by Medicare. On average, these still cost at least $30,000 a year, reports Harvard Kennedy School professor of public policy Amitabh Chandra, who is on the advisory panel for the Congressional Budget Office."

 Diagnosis 

  • An August 18, 2013 CNN Health article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported on methods of diagnosing Alzheimer's "a decade before symptoms." According to Dr. Gupta, "While it is certainly possible that a technology like this could present an opportunity to intervene earlier and to create strategies to measure the effectiveness of those interventions, the ultimate advice to patients may sound very familiar: Eat right and get plenty of physical exercise, which is something we should all be doing anyway.I do think this raises something else to consider: The psychological perspective. I am not entirely sure I would want to know the fate of my brain 10 to 15 years ahead of time, unless there was something I could certainly do about it.Would you?" 

 Politics & Opinion 

  • An August 18, 2013 CBS Minnesota article reported on Senator Amy Klobuchar's support of research funding and her advocacy against sequestration. According to the article, "Klobuchar said the National Institutes of Health funding has been cut because of sequestration, and is hurting valuable research in the area of Alzheimer’s.“This is, of course, about the well being of patients, but it’s also about the economy,” Klobuchar said. “There are 8,000 medical research jobs in our state.”Klobuchar has called on colleagues to fully fund the NIH with a targeted and balanced approach to deficit reduction."
  • An August 16, 2013 John Porter opinion piece by former Republican Congressman John Porter highlighted on the need for Congress to prioritize medical innovation and research. According to Porter, "A nation's leadership must view research through the prism of future generations: our children and grandchildren, who will benefit from both a health and economic standpoint as a result of today's scientific discoveries. Imagine a world free of cancer, free of AIDS, free of Alzheimer's, free of heart disease. It's certainly possible if elected officials get beyond the rhetoric and take decisive action to strengthen our nation's investments in research."

 

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