March 11, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A March 8, 2019 The Hill article reported that Maria Shriver attended the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival to talk about Alzheimer’s disease and women, trying to reach a younger audience. According to the article, ““I think there’s a lot to be done locally. There’s a lot to be done at kitchen tables in homes, in communities,” Shriver says when asked if there are any actions that could be taken by Congress. Noting she’s been to Capitol Hill twice to push lawmakers for increased research funding, Shriver says the battle includes “working with all the mayors of local cities, working with governors. And then ultimately my goal is to get a president who takes this on as an issue.””


According to a March 6, 2019 Medscape article, researchers found that adding memantine to treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, in combination with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, may improve depressive symptoms, executive function and other outcomes in patients with depression and cognitive issues. The study, out of UCLA, is the first to look at memantine to treat such patients. “From day one, adding memantine was helpful for outcomes of depression, anxiety, apathy, and overall improvement, and was also helpful on cognitive outcomes at 12 months,” said Helen Lavretsky, MD of UCLA.


A March 10, 2019 The Wooded Path blog by Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN presented the short documentary, “Do You Know Me Now?” The doc examines the caregiver-patient relationship, and ways for care partners to connect with their loved ones beyond Alzheimer’s disease. According to the post, “The project highlights stories of people living with dementia and their loved ones who have found ways to connect — who have discovered joy, beauty and self-expression despite the losses. “Do You Know Me Now?” reminds us that while cognitive ability diminishes, deep personhood lives on.”


A March 6, 2019 WATE ABC 6 broadcast video featured 15 year-old Alexa Austin, who was selected as a finalist in “The Future of Good” program for her work raising money for Alzheimer’s disease research. According to Austin, “My grandfather, JL Austin, was diagnosed with rapid-onset dementia and I would visit him every day. Whenever he couldn’t remember me it touched my heart, because it was my grandfather and we had always been close. So I decided to step-up and fundraise and help for a cure. And one day we will have a cure.”


A March 8, 2019 WBAY ABC 2 broadcast segment spotlighted the story of former Wisconsin governor Marty Schreiber, who is caring for his wife of over a half-century, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Schreiber speaks to caregivers, offering hope and wisdom from his book, “My Two Elaines - Learning, Coping and Surviving as an Alzheimer's Caregiver.” “It is so important to let go of the one you once loved and who is no more. But the question: What is the option? See, you can't argue with this disease,” said Schreiber.