Today's Top Alzheimer's News

The need for smarter research funding to fight Alzheimer's  turning G8 Dementia Summit's words into action, and new research on the impact of dementia on Native American and African Americans (read more).    

Must reads

  • A December 18, 2013 Forbes article highlighted the need for "smarter research funding" to fight dementia. According to the article, "Public funding for scientific investigations should largely be limited to basic research or proof-of-principle experiments—which can be justified on the grounds that they are public goods. Federal research also should follow recognized experimental methodologies and focus on nontrivial questions or problems…Congress should strip unworthy federal organizations of the ability to dispense research funds…However, legislators are constantly being importuned for increased across-the-board funding, which is unlikely to materialize. What we will see, however, are skyrocketing healthcare costs, as ever more dementia patients need supportive care – and receive it as part of federal entitlement programs."
  • A December 18, 2013 The Guardian opinion piece by Beth Britton focused on the need to turn "words into meaningful action" after the UK's G8 dementia summit. According to Britton, "Whenever the G8 give their attention to a particular subject, you know that the outcome will have to be something that can grab headlines. The first G8 dementia summit certainly managed to produce some suitably eye-catching rhetoric, but as the dust settles the real task is turning those words into meaningful action...As delegates watched the films that I and others with personal experience of dementia had made, they were potentially just glad that they were not in that spotlight. As the legacy events from the summit unfold in 2014, we will see if the G8 really can put substance behind the claim from David Cameron that 11 December 2013 was, "The day that the global fight-back began.""

Research and science 

  • A December 18, 2013 WBUR (Boston NPR) interview featured a discussion about the "challenges of developing — and approving — new medicines." According to the article, "What we are already seeing is that several pharmaceutical companies have simply given up trying to develop new treatments for some of our most challenging diseases, many with a high degree of morbidity and mortality, because the R&D costs and risks are too high…For example, it takes on average nearly 11 years for central nervous system (CNS) drugs that treat neuro-degenerative and psychiatric disorders to go from first testing in human subjects to receiving FDA approval.That’s more than twice as long as for anti-infective drugs. Moreover, the likelihood that a CNS drug will successfully make it through the human testing phase is only 8.2 percent. As a result, several companies recently announced that they have significantly reduced or eliminated their investment in CNS drug development. This is despite the fact that as our population ages, CNS diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia and depression will become increasingly — and frighteningly — common."
  • A December 17, 2013 San Francisco Chronicle article reported that "Native Americans and African Americans with Type 2 diabetes are disproportionately likely among ethnic minorities to develop dementia in old age, according to a new study from Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research." Read Kaiser press release here


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