Today's Top News

MUST READS

A December 7, 2015 The Tennessean opinion piece by Tennessee based academic and research leaders underscored the need to fully fund NIH. According to the authors, “Since 2003, funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has plummeted nearly 25 percent when adjusted for inflation. Thousands of promising research projects that history has proven will yield life-saving treatments for heart disease, stroke, cancer, autism, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases are rejected each year due to lack of available funding…We urge the entire Tennessee delegation to pass fiscal year 2016 spending bills that restore funding for the National Institutes of Health.” Marquetta L. Faulkner, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.P., F.A.S.N., senior vice president for health affairs, and dean of the School of Medicine at Meharry Medical College; Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Robert T. Means Jr., M.D., dean of medicine of the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University; and David Stern, M.D., Robert Kaplan Executive Dean for the College of Medicine at University of Tennessee Health Science Center. 

A December 7, 2015 Washington Post article (via The Miami Herald) reported that a new study finds that “people who have negative beliefs about aging are more likely to have brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease.” According to the article, “The link between negative views and brain changes is likely due to an increased stress response, said Becca R. Levy, associate professor of public health and of psychology at the Yale School of Public Health and the paper’s lead author.”

A December 7, 2015 The Washington Post article highlighted the challenges that older Americans face with dental care, particularly in light of Alzheimer’s and dementia. According to the article, “Good dental hygiene is important to overall health, and chronic illnesses and medications can worsen oral health. Yet providing dental care to seniors such as Violeta Anderson is fraught with challenges. According to the American Dental Association, a fifth of people age 75 and older haven’t seen a dentist in the past five years. Many older patients are resistant because of fear or years of neglect — or they have impaired cognitive skills and don’t understand the need. Others are not mobile enough to get to a dental office.” 

RESEARCH, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY 

A December 7, 2015 The Washington Post article reported on the “uncertainty over how to regulate consumer access to genetic information” in the US. According to the article, “Suppose you want to know if you have the gene linked to Alzheimer’s disease, or the one for breast cancer, or the one pertaining to how you handle caffeine. If you live in Canada or in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in Europe,  turns out, you can find out easily: Spit in a tube, send it off with about $200, and the testing company, 23andme, returns your personal genetics report with that information. But if you live in the United States, those and other  details of your genome are no longer offered, the result of a skirmish between the FDA and the industry.”

A December 7, 2015 NBC News article reported that “A common treatment for prostate cancer may double the risk of Alzheimer's disease.” According to the article, “It's called androgen deprivation therapy, and it's aimed at lowering levels of testosterone, the "male" hormone that fuels some types of prostate cancer. The study uses men's medical records and cannot prove that the treatment caused Alzheimer's disease in the men. But it's enough to prompt oncologists to take a closer look.”

CAREGIVING 

A December 8, 2015 Time article highlighted the financial impact of dementia care on one family. According to the article, “The dementia came on suddenly. Theresa, 89, normally placid, became aggressive and anxious, says Dee. Though medication has helped reduce Theresa’s anxiety, she now needs help with everything from eating to using the toilet…She has run up $20,000 on credit cards and is tapping her $150,000 retirement kitty. Says Dee: ‘My financial situation is dire.’

A December 7, 2015 The Chicago Tribune article reported on the emotional stress that the holidays sometimes bring for caregivers and individuals living with dementia. According to the article, “Jennifer Nagy, program manager of caregiver services at Aging Care Connections, based in La Grange, said the holidays cause extra stress through isolation for the families she assists.”

 

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