January 4, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A January 2, 2019 Thrive Global article spotlighted WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s (WAA) new “Be Brain Powerful: The Campaign for Women’s Brain Health,” led by a brain trust of influential women working to create a movement addressing the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, and the overall importance of brain health. The article states, “According to UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, research is beginning to show that more than one-third of dementia cases could be prevented or significantly delayed by addressing lifestyle risk factors. The campaign will run various Brain Health Challenges throughout the year encouraging participants to maintain their involvement in brain healthy activity.” WAA is an UsAgainstAlzheimer’s network.


An Alzheimer’s Readiness Project guest blog by Phyllis Ferrell of Eli Lilly’s Global Alzheimer’s Disease Platform Team cited the economic impact of Alzheimer’s disease, to the tune of $236 billion in 2016 in total estimated direct cost in the U.S. Ferrell outlines five key policy recommendations that need to be in place when and if new AD therapies are brought to market, in order to have the largest impact on those affected: i) access to testing and diagnostics; ii) matching policy to science; iii) educating providers; iv) expanding access to clinical trials, especially for early-stage AD; and v) rewarding innovation.

A January 3, 2019 USA Today article announced that Kathy Griffin’s 98 year-old mom, Maggie, has dementia. Maggie was a fan-favorite repeat guest on her “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” Bravo series. According to Griffin, “Up until this past couple years she was so sharp she always kept me on my toes. Her mind was so naturally quick, funny, and smart. No one could get anything past her. Watching that slip away so fast has been devastating. (Maggie) only knows my name and I love you. I know many of you know what that reality is like...I'm still grappling with it.” Also covered by Independent, and others.


Listen to a December 29, 2018 Being Patient podcast featuring Founder Deborah Kan talking with Dr. Gary Small of UCLA’s Longevity Center about how the spice curcumin, a derivative of turmeric, can improve memory and boost mood. The spice has been used medicinally in Asia for thousands of years. Researchers are looking at its potential anti-inflammatory, anti-amyloid and anti-tau effects, which are major hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.


In a January 2, 2019 Daily Mail Online article, family lawyer Nicola Mcinnes addressed the tough decision of getting a ‘dementia divorce,’ or staying in a potentially frustrating and isolating marriage with a spouse who has dementia. Dementia is increasingly putting the ‘in sickness and in health’ vow to the test. According to the article, “…Divorce is a huge step — sweeping with it feelings of enormous guilt and loss. Then there are the children. I have seen clients whose children, already suffering their own emotional turmoil, have been horrified that the parent carer would even consider abandoning their mother or father. Parental responsibilities and sensitivities add another tangent to an already impossibly tense situation.”


Register for the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s webinar, “Brain Plasticity: The Effects of Anti-Depressants on Depression.” Depression changes the brain, and is considered a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, affecting both patients and caregivers. Researchers are working to better understand how antidepressants including SSRIs, lithium and ketamine exert their therapeutic effects, in order to find newer, more effective and rapidly acting treatments for depression. January 8, 2019 at 2pm (EST).