November 08, 2017

Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News


A November 6, 2017 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s blog post by ClergyAgainstAlzheimer's Founder Lynda Everman celebrated the release of the Alzheimer's semipostal stamp after many years of effort. The semipostal is a fundraising stamp for dementia research and its success depends on us all. The design draws attention to the importance of care partners for people with Alzheimer's and related neurological disorders. Click here to order stamps. 


A November 7, 2017 MedCity News article reported that the FDA unveiled a streamlined path for companies which market direct-to-consumer genetic health risk (GHR) tests, to grant market access to companies rather than individual tests. These tests indicate whether a person or their children may be more at risk for developing a condition such as Alzheimer’s disease. According to health policy and law expert Timothy Mackey, “This is essentially the same deal 23andMe got after its predicate device in April, so this simply confirms this approach for other GHR manufacturers and also details the special controls they must follow in order to access this pathway subject to certain exemptions.”


A November 6, 2017 The Hill article reported that a record number of people signed up for ObamaCare in the first few days of open enrollment this year as compared to previous years. According to a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “The first few days of Open Enrollment for the Federal Health Insurance Exchange went smoothly. The website performed optimally and consumers easily accessed enrollment tools to compare plans and prices." Click here if you need help with your health insurance application. Additional information available at Get America Covered and Justice in Aging

A November 1, 2017 The White House statement highlighted November as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. The first National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month was in 1983 and still today, AD and related dementias continue to affect Americans from all walks of life. According to President Trump, “This month, we also acknowledge the millions of caregivers currently assisting those with a diagnosis of dementia. They know firsthand that the cost of such a diagnosis is measured not just in dollars and cents, but also in the emotional and physical effort required to help loved ones. There is a light on the horizon, however, as our Nation’s scientific, medical, and caregiving communities are breaking new ground in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”


According to a November 6, 2017 CBS News video segment and article, Alzheimer’s disease is a kind of spectrum disorder. “Alzheimer's is really a disease with multiple different presentations, multiple different courses in people. It's as individual as the person who gets the illness and many of the people with Alzheimer's live productive, functional lives in the community," said Dr. Gayatri Devi of Lenox Hill Hospital.


A November 3, 2017 NPR article spotlighted End of Life Washington, a Washington state agency which advocates for medical aid-in-dying and assists people using the 2009 Death with Dignity Act. They created a guide, Instructions for Oral Feeding and Drinking, for people with Alzheimer's disease and other progressive dementias who don't want to be spoon-fed at the end of life. The guidelines aren't legally or ethically binding. According to Jonathan Patterson of Compassion and Choices, "The hard part about advance directives is even though you put your wishes there, it doesn't mean a medical professional will honor it, or that a facility will honor it.”