Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News

USA2 SPOTLIGHT

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A December 5, 2017 Being Patient article featured the story of Lisette Carbajal, a first generation American who was a college freshman when her dad was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Much of the management of the disease fell to Carbajal, which is becoming more common for millennials. A new study from the University of Southern California and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s finds that one in six millennial caregivers (average age 27) is providing care to a dementia patient, and around 40 percent are the sole caregiver. These responsibilities affect their potential for relationships with significant others, financial stability, job opportunity and emotional wellbeing. Also covered by LA West Media.

MUST READS

A December 5, 2017 Huffington Post article by Lou-Ellen Barkan of CaringKind applauds Bill Gates’ contribution to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but says he’s missing the ball by not focusing on the here and now of the needs of Alzheimer’s caregivers. Barkan pulls from a caregivers survey which reveals “...The devastating toll that caring for a person with Alzheimer’s has on their lives, including the financial impact of lost wages, lost jobs, and overwhelming care expenses, as well as personal impacts including increased stress, health problems, and the breakdown of personal relationships.” 

A December 5, 2017 The Hill opinion piece called for the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to allocate the funds outlined in Congress’ preliminary federal budget that will determine 2018 research funding levels for US laboratories, most notably the National Institutes of Health. According to the article, “By dramatically boosting funds for scientific research, we will have the chance to see a day when our grandchildren will question why cancer was such a scourge, wonder why many did not get to celebrate their centennial birthdays, and ask, “What was Alzheimer’s disease?” ” 

According to a November 30, 2017 Science Daily article, a rare genetic variant of the RAB10 gene has been discovered which provides a protective effect for people at high-risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. This genetic function could be targeted with drugs to help reduce the risk of people getting AD. "Instead of identifying genetic variants that are causing disease, we wanted to identify genetic variants that are protecting people from developing disease. And we were able to identify a promising genetic variant,” said Perry Ridge of Brigham Young University.

RESEARCH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

A December 1, 2017 Neos Kosmos article spotlighted Neuroscience Trials Australia, a non-profit specializing in clinical research, with a focus on Alzheimer's disease. According to CEO Dr. Tina Soulis, “…We specialize in neuroscience, which means everything to do with the brain, with diseases like strokes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy, all these things that affect many people in Australia - and globally, as well… It's fair to say that our priorities are where unmet needs are and with Alzheimer's, we're talking about a disease that is going to affect over a million people, and for years, there has been nothing to treat it."

REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

A December 5, 2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune article reported on a new crisis response team pilot program aimed at preventing sudden emergencies, resulting from violent or disruptive behavior by people with Alzheimer’s disease, that can lead to emergency room visits or arrest. The program helps medical experts (geriatric nurses, adult protective services social workers, geriatric mental health specialists, geriatric psychiatric nurses) teach first responders, who often get called to the scene, specialized skills to seek services other than hospitalization or jail. According to County Board Chair Dianne Jacob, “Seniors who are in crisis need a clear path to help, and that’s the intent of the pilot project.”

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