August 6, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


According to an August 5, 2018 The New York Times article, new research from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project shows that the rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991. And the next generation nearing retirement age is also filing for bankruptcy in greater numbers. The perfect storm of vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, including more out-of-pocket spending on healthcare, and inadequate savings has compounded the issue. About three in five cited unmanageable medical expenses as a major factor in their bankruptcy filing. 

An August 4, 2018 Forbes article looked at the crucial role of philanthropists in tackling Alzheimer’s disease. Naming rights for training programs for Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive health healthcare professionals, memory centers, and a national study that measures how treatments make a difference in the lives of people living with AD, all present opportunities to make a dent in the issue. According to the article, “The brilliance of American philanthropy is innovative funding that covers the gaps no one else will fund, and in doing so brings America together. Andrew Carnegie and Joan Kroc were very, very wealthy, he from steel, she from hamburgers and fries (her spouse Ray Kroc ran McDonalds). Both saw the opportunity to support things that all Americans desperately need but fall through the cracks of the faults in our system.”

An August 3, 2018 Fortune article looked at why long-living/short-sleeping elephants don’t experience the same kind of brain deterioration with aging as humans, retain incredible memory capacity late into life, don’t appear to suffer from mental decline and show no signs of amyloid plaque build-up. Elephants are highly social animals, forming lifelong extended family units, which may help explain their continued high-functioning brains. According to the article, “Several studies in humans have appeared to demonstrate that strong social connections reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in older adults—and that the opposite circumstance (social disengagement) makes mental deterioration worse. Unfortunately, such evidence might offer one clue as to why Alzheimer’s deaths have been rising in this U.S., increasing 123% between the years 2000 and 2015.”


An August 2, 2018 Medscape article looked at the ability of antihypertensive therapy, which lowers elevated blood pressure, to decrease the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older adults. Researchers looked at five different classes of blood pressure-lowering drugs.


An August 5, 2018 The Advocate article spotlighted the African-American Cognition and Exercise prevention study at LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center (Baton Rouge), which is recruiting African-Americans aged 65 to 85. According to Dr. Robert Newton, “African-Americans experience dementia, or severe problems with thinking skills that impact the ability to live independently, at a higher rate than members of other ethnic and racial groups. Behavior change programs are safe, well-tolerated and have shown some promise in reducing risk factors for dementia. We hope to reduce people’s risk of developing dementia.”



An August 5, 2018 The Columbus Dispatch article reported on two proposed changes to Ohio state law focused on dementia. Ohio long-term care facilities which offer services specifically for people with dementia may face new state employee training requirements, and “respite care” for caregivers needs to be more clearly defined. The recommendations come from the Ohio House of Representatives’ Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia.