November 13, 2017

Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News


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A November 13, 2017 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s statement from UsA2 Co-Founder and Chairman George Vradenburg reacted to Bill Gates’ announcement that he is “digging deep into Alzheimer’s.” According to Vradenburg, “The announcement that Bill Gates is joining this fight has the potential to significantly change that paradigm. In talking to him, I am pleased he has identified essentially the same challenges and opportunities as we have at UsAgainstAlzheimer's and has chosen to invest in a disruptive mechanism to change business as usual.”


According to a November 13, 2017 Reuters article, Microsoft’s Bill Gates will invest $100 million into Alzheimer’s disease research. $50 million will go to the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital fund bringing together industry and government, and another $50 million to start-up ventures. According to Gates, “I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity... It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew… Some of the men in my family have suffered from Alzheimer‘s.” 

A November 11, 2017 The Washington Post article reported on the new Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp, from stamp artist Matt Mahurin, which will be released on November 30, 2017. The stamp will be dedicated at a ceremony at Johns Hopkins’ Bayview campus in Baltimore, which is open to the public, but registration is required.


A November 13, 2017 CNN video segment and article focused on the story of Sandy Halperin, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. CNN has been following him for five years to learn what is going on inside his head. Describing his experience, "I often feel in the front of my head that there's cotton stuffed in there, and this whirling-like confusion with that sensation in the brain." Halperin’s goal is to erase stigma and shame surrounding dementia and educate on the best ways to care for people with cognitive decline. 


A November 10, 2017 USC News post reported that Judy Pa from USC’s Keck School of Medicine will lead a big data study looking at the link between gender and Alzheimer’s disease risk to try and determine why more women develop AD than men. The five-year study is funded by the National Institutes of Health and will rely on imaging and genetics data. According to Pa, “Previous research may have missed these gender-specific variations because the disparities can be subtle. This is why our targeted approach is important and necessary for addressing these questions.”