Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
An April 23, 2018 Bakersfield Now broadcast segment spotlighted the Kern Dance Alliance program, which partnered with the Alzheimer's Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC), to offer dance and movement therapy for people with Alzheimer’s disease. “We talk a lot at Kern Dance Alliance about the transformative power of movement. And many of the clients over at ADAKC are memory impaired, obviously, and they’re coming home… the caregivers have called ADAKC and have told the staff that they’re coming home and having conversations about what they experienced in their dance movement therapy sessions,” said Andrea Hanson of Kern Dance Alliance.
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
An April 24, 2018 Nature article focused on the work of neuroscientist Michael Heneka of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn showing that the brain’s immune system has a crucial role in dementia. According to the article, “Scientists don’t yet agree on whether the immune system will need to be ramped up or tamped down at different stages of disease. And some of the practical problems that have dogged clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease — imperfect mouse models and difficulties in recruiting patients early enough — may plague this new approach, too. Hanging over the field like a black cloud is the fact that all clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease have so far failed.”
An April 21, 2018 The Topeka Capital-Journal article told the story of Joe Brazeal and his wife Kimberly, who died recently of lung cancer, but also had Alzheimer’s disease. Joe donated her brain to The Taub Institute at Columbia University Medical Center in New York where it will be used to research AD through the United Tissue Network. According to the article, “Brazeal also wrote a letter to President Donald Trump requesting a proclamation supporting people with terminal illnesses, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, as well as caregivers, families and children.”
An April 17, 2018 Kiplinger article looked at the growing trend of seniors caring for seniors, as people live longer. About 7% of caregivers are 75 or older, and around three million seniors spend about 34 hours a week helping with caregiving tasks. Older caregivers are at heightened risk of falls or other injuries from physical caregiving tasks. According to Amanda Hartrey of the Family Caregiver Alliance, “Wives will sacrifice their own health to keep their husbands at home. Because they often put off their own care, they get sicker and die earlier than non-caregivers.”
An April 23, 2018 Fox 13 Salt Lake City broadcast segment focused on the impact of Alzheimer’s disease in Utah, where AD is the fourth leading cause of death. The state Legislature approved a $1 million appropriation to help patients and their families. $350,000 will go to in-home services, $400,000 to caregiver and Ombudsman services, $145,000 to community care, $55,000 to public awareness and data collection, and $50,000 to provider and caregiver education.