May 10, 2017

Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News


A May 10, 2017 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s press release welcomed Dr. William A. Vega of USC as the newest member of the UsA2 Board of Directors. He will play an essential role in increasing Alzheimer’s research investment, creating a faster and more diverse clinical-trial infrastructure and addressing disparities in communities of color. “I’m honored to join the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Network board and contribute to its bold mission of addressing our nation’s Alzheimer’s crisis,” Vega said. “I’ve seen the impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia on vulnerable communities, and we must act strategically and with urgency before more families feel the extraordinary economic and emotional hardship of Alzheimer’s.”

According to a May 9, 2017 Alzheimer’s News Today article, the 40% boost in Alzheimer’s disease research funding approved by Congress last week is winning praise from the nonprofit Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP), launched by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, and the Global CEO Initiative (CEOi) on Alzheimer’s Disease. GAP is a first-of-its-kind collaboration of 51 academic and private research institutions working to streamline the clinical research cycle for Alzheimer’s therapies and bring them to market faster. George Vradenburg, Co-Founder and Chair of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, said the disease enacts a “destructive toll” on millions of American families. “To defeat it, we need robust research funding that will yield a long-sought-after breakthrough. This funding increase is a positive step forward. Additional basic and clinical research funding is essential to achieve our national goal of a prevention and treatment by 2025.”


A May 10, 2017 STAT opinion piece by Roberta Diaz Brinton is seeking answers about sex-based differences in Alzheimer’s disease, and specifically why women are disproportionately affected. Women are nearly two-thirds of AD patients in America, and 2.5 times more likely to be a caregiver for someone with dementia. To these ends, the Alzheimer’s Association has launched its Sex and Gender in Alzheimer’s research grants, providing $2.2 million to nine projects.

A May 9, 2017 The Connection article focused on the Annual Education Conference 2017 of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) in Baltimore. Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is the ‘other dementia’ which few doctors mention when patients describe cognitive changes, and generally give a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, normal aging, Parkinson’s, vascular dementia or mini-strokes. FTD may cause up to 10% of all dementia cases, and disorders are the result of damage to neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes. It is hard to diagnose, apart from post-mortem brain autopsies, but is now becoming easier thanks to ongoing research. 


Surviving Grace is UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder Trish Vradenburg’s quasi-autobiographical play, which was produced at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Off Broadway at the Union Square Theater in New York City. The touching and funny story tells the story of Trish’s mom, Bea Lerner, and her battle with Alzheimer’s. Tuesday, June 13th in Chicago starring Diane Rehm, Loni Anderson, Marilu Henner and Mike Ditka.