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A February 4, 2016 STAT News article reported that “Texas senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz called for a big bump in funding to cure Alzheimer’s at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., on Thursday.”

A February 4, 2016 The Hill opinion piece by Daniel Harvey underscored the need for a neurological disease registry to keep track of the growing impact of neurological disorders on society. According to Harvey, “Our basic lack of data has far-reaching effects. Without complete information, policymakers devote insufficient funding for services and the research that can help us find new treatments and potential cures. Pharmaceutical companies choose other diseases in which to invest their research monies. Nonprofit organizations dedicate fewer resources for support services. Without data, the world of Parkinson’s treatment and services can be a mystery without much hope--and the same holds true for many other progressive neurological disorders. The House-passed 21st Century Cures Act would create a neurological disease registry at the Centers for Disease Control. The overwhelming bipartisan effort in the House should not be wasted. I urge the Senate HELP committee to support similar legislation about the registry, the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act.” Harvey is a Massachusetts assistant state director for the Parkinson’s Action Network and a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association.

A February 4, 2016 Business Finance News article highlighted the efforts of Novartis and other pharmaceutical companies to develop an Alzheimer’s treatment. According to the article, “In 2015, Novartis and Amgen signed a deal to work on the development of the Novartis BACE inhibitor, CNP520. This inhibitor is the latest addition to a line of drugs, which play a vital role in inhibiting the toxic amyloid protein in the brain. The protein is thought to cause the degenerative memory-wasting disorder…Several drugs currently in the pipeline include solanezumab, gantenerumab, crenezumab, and Lu AE58054. They are expected to be launched from 2017 to 2020.”

A February 4, 2016 AARP Take Care blog post highlighted the impact that even simple technology can have on addressing the challenges of Alzheimer’s and dementia care. According to the article, “When Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I knew he would need all of his senses to help interpret the world around him and balance his changing cognitive abilities. But he has hearing impairment and limited vision (glaucoma plus visual-processing problems associated with Alzheimer’s). Even though there is only so much I can do about the visual issues, I assumed hearing aids would solve his auditory problems. I was wrong. The good news is that  we eventually discovered a surprisingly simple solution…The audiologist said it would take several more weeks for the top-notch digital hearing aids to arrive, so she gave Daddy a comfort audio hearing amplifier to use temporarily. These devices are sometimes called a pocket talker, wearable hearing device or personal sound amplification system (PSAS). Dad’s consists of headphones and a cord attached to a small microphone that clips to his pocket. The microphone has large buttons to easily adjust the volume. Much to my surprise, wearing the equipment didn’t bother Daddy a bit. We immediately observed an improvement in his interactions with us and his ability to follow directions, which meant less anxiety for him. Priceless!”

INTERESTING READS FROM THE WEB

Science Alert: Scientists discover a key mechanism that could prevent Alzheimer's-related memory loss

STAT News: How old is too old? A debate on toying with human life span

The Daily CallerBill Expanding Telehealth Services Could Save $1.8 Billon Over 10 Years

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