August 21, 2017

Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News


In an August 18, 2017 The New York Times article, Times money writer, Ron Lieber, read and reviewed books recommended by his readers in response to proposed legislation that could fundamentally change Medicaid. One such book, a memoir, “Being My Mom’s Mom,” by Loretta Anne Woodward Veney, focuses on the years she spend caring for her mother, who had dementia, as well as her own mental health. Veney is an advocate for UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, and a moderator of its Facebook caregiver support community. 


An August 18, 2017 STAT article looked at the current state of Alzheimer’s research and moving beyond the amyloid hypothesis. Ideas on the table include affecting microglia and the immune system before it can damage the brain, epigenetic treatments, and lights - lasers to ameliorate the symptoms and treat the underlying causes of AD, and LED shows which might bolster cognition.

An August 10, 2017 NIH Director’s Blog by Dr. Francis Collins spotlighted the Discovery Channel’s, “First in Human,” three-part docuseries, following four clinical trial participants inside the NIH Clinical Center. The third episode airs Thursday, August 24 at 9pm (EST). Dr. Collins hopes the series will begin to build momentum to encourage more Americans to take part in clinical trials.


An August 10, 2017 Jimmy Kimmel Live video segment interviews Jim Parsons about the new documentary he narrates, “First In Human,” that shows the real-life experiences of the doctors, patients and researchers of the National Institute of Health Clinical Center and explains why he got involved.


An August 20, 2017 The Washington Post article (subscription required) focused on the lack of minorities participating in clinical trials, which is estimated at less than 10 percent for NIH-registered clinical trials. According to Willie Deese, a former Executive Vice-President at Merck who is African American and whose mother has Alzheimer’s, given the nation’s changing demographics, it’s neither good health policy nor good business to be developing drugs and possible cures that are tested in only a subset of the population. “We have to be included. Enlightened companies are ensuring that that’s taking place today.”

An August 19, 2017 U.S. News article spotlighted Mary Read, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 50. In the last seven years since her diagnosis, she has become an advocate in many ways, including starting Memory Cafe, a support group for people in early stages to socialize. She focuses on acquiring new skills, works out and travels. According to Read, who went into a depression post-diagnosis, “So I just kept praying: 'You know, if I can't be cured of this disease, help me to help others.' "