September 11, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


The National Institute on Aging (NIH) launched the "Improving Care for People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Using Technology (iCare-AD/ADRD) Challenge" competition. As part of the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, up to $400,000 in cash prizes will be awarded for the development of technology applications to improve dementia care coordination and/or care navigation. Competition is open October 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Register for a webinar on October 17, 2018 at 2:30pm (EST) for an introduction to the Challenge and participation requirements. 


According to a September 11, 2018 Scientific American Observations blog post by Howard M. Fillit, MD of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, now is the time to target novel pathways to order to fully understand Alzheimer’s disease. “Biomarkers to specific molecular targets can be used to predict the likelihood a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease… and provide a diagnosis even before symptoms are noticeable,” writes Fillit. “Ultimately, biomarkers can determine which therapies would be most effective for an individual.”


A September 8, 2018 M Live Michigan Ann Arbor News article and videospotlighted two army veterans who trekked 34 miles to deliver a $20,430 check for Alzheimer's disease research. According to the article, “Doney, who lost his great uncle on Aug. 28 to Alzheimer's disease, said anything to contribute to research and possibly finding a cure for the disease is well worth the 34 miles of wear and tear on his body.”  


A September 7, 2018 Shifting Margins blog post by Bishop Kenneth L. Carder focused to how to address stigma around dementia. Those diagnosed fear loss of control and identity, “being a burden,” forgetting family and being treated differently, amongst other fears. According to Carder, “A societal problem undergirds those fears, and it’s the stigma associated with the disease. Our hyper-cognitive, capacity-reliant society diminishes the personhood and worth of people with cognitive impairments… But dementia is more than a brain disease. Dementia is a social-relational disease; and the stigma society attributes to people with cognitive impairment contributes to its destructive consequences.”


An August 28, 2018 Being Patient article looked at the trend of using specially trained assistance dogs to provide companionship and help people with Alzheimer’s disease. According to the article, “Assistance dogs can help Alzheimer’s patients and their families in a number of ways. A study published last year found the use of therapy dogs for people with Alzheimer’s is on the rise, and credits the dogs with increasing well-being and socialization among those with Alzheimer’s disease.”


(ICYMI) A July 25, 2018 Observer-Dispatch article highlighted Alz You Need, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s newest associate member organization. Founded by Colgate University graduate and family caregiver Leda Rosenthal, whose mother has young-onset AD, her goal is to help families affected by Alzheimer’s use technology to care for their loved ones. According to Rosenthal, “By finding options tailored to each family’s needs, Alz You Need reduces the risk of exacerbating the already delicate situation with ill-fitting technology. Alz You Need’s mission is simple: find helpful technology to alleviate Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving challenges, and then connect it with the right families.”