November 15, 2017

Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News


A November 15, 2017 USA Today article featured a new report from the Rand Corporation about the lack of preparedness of the US healthcare system to adequately deal with Alzheimer’s disease. The study assumes there will be a successful treatment for AD within the next few years. According to UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chairman George Vradenburg, “There are more than 90 experimental Alzheimer’s treatments currently under development, with 15 “at least on pace to be on the market in the next five years…” “Society in the end will save a helluva lot of money, if we get an effective drug out there.” ”

A November 15, 2017 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s statement spotlighted the new Rand report out today. “In a potentially game-changing week when Bill Gates has entered the Alzheimer’s space to accelerate a cure for this deadly disease, the RAND report highlights how unprepared the US health care system is for the arrival of an effective treatment. We applaud RAND for bringing this issue out of the shadows,” said UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chairman George Vradenburg.

A November 15, 2017 Medium article by George Vradenburg of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s highlighted the unique susceptibility of veterans to develop Alzheimer's disease, due in part to their military service because of factors such as post-traumatic stress (PTS), depression, traumatic brain injury, successive concussion syndrome and blast-induced neurotrauma. PTS and depression can nearly double their risk for AD. "As we pause to honor veterans on this Veterans Day and beyond, let’s raise the curtain on the devastating impact Alzheimer’s has had on the country’s loyal service men and women. If we continue to perceive Alzheimer’s as something that only affects old people, we will fail the next generation of soldiers, leaders, and parents who could find themselves or their loved ones facing the fight of a lifetime."


A November 15, 2017 The Washington Post article looked at a secondary public health challenge relating to Alzheimer's disease, whether or not the US healthcare system is prepared to identify and treat millions of people who may not be showing obvious signs of memory loss. Even if a treatment becomes available, millions of people with mild cognitive impairment will need to be screened. According to Rand Corporation Senior ScientistSoeren Mattke, “All of a sudden, the numbers explode. There are really large numbers of patients, many of whom will not have signs of early-stage memory loss. We need to process them all, to find the ones that do have Alzheimer’s pathology — and that means moving a lot of patients through the health-care system.”

A November 14, 2017 St. Louis Post-Dispatch letter to the editor by Suzanne Ffolkes of Research!America responds to a November 9, 2017 editorial, “Missouri should make funding public universities a top priority.” According to Ffolkes, “Federal spending caps are limiting opportunities for scientists to launch and sustain research aimed at combating cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and many other health threats… Now it’s time for Congress to pass a budget deal that lifts the caps to help universities that rely on both federal and state funding to advance science and innovation.” 

A November 14, 2017 Seacoast Online article by Sen. Susan Collins called attention to November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, dedicated to people with Alzheimer’s, family members and caregivers, medical professionals and researchers. According to Collins, “Alzheimer’s disease is one of the greatest under-recognized public health threats of our time… By 2050, if we continue along this trajectory, costs are projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion, and the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is expected to reach 16 million. While Alzheimer’s is the only one of our nation’s most deadly diseases without an effective treatment or cure, new research is showing that there are actions we can take to promote prevention and improve treatment.”