Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Congressmen Ribble, Pocan team up in push for more medical research, the FDA's support of Alzheimer's battle, and UC San Francisco's efforts to leverage technology to tackle Alzheimer's (read more). 

Must reads

  • An April 9, 2014 WHBL article reported that "Wisconsin congressmen from both parties are teaming up on a new fiscal measure, with the goal of freeing up more federal money for medical research." According to the article, "House Republican Reid Ribble of Sherwood and Democrat Mark Pocan of Madison have unveiled a bill to create a new fiscal division in the Congressional Budget Office.It would provide $5 million a year to study the potential costs and benefits of legislation for up to 40 years in the future. The budget agency currently gives cost and benefit estimates for ten years out.Ribble says it's not long enough to produce future benefits that could cure major diseases like obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer's. He says the current house policy is to only pass bills with payoffs, so a lot of medical research proposals are cast aside."
  • An April 9, 2014 FDA Blog post by FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg highlighted the advocacy of the Alzheimer's Association and the FDA's commitment to fighting the disease. According to Dr. Hamburg, "We at FDA join in recognizing those who have made these important contributions and commitments. We also recognize and applaud the contributions of each and every member of the Alzheimer’s Association who have come to Washington this week to learn more, but also to education policymakers through their experience, advocacy, and personal stories. Like all of them, we at FDA are committed to doing our part to meet the immense scientific and social challenges of this disease."
  • An April 9, 2014 Huffington Post piece by Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, underscored the need to urgently address the nation's Alzheimer's crisis. According to Johns, "We are at a pivotal moment with scientists poised to make more significant and rapid advances if given the necessary resources. In the future we will either look back at 2014 as a turning point in the Alzheimer's crisis, the year we started making really significant progress toward the goals of the National Alzheimer's Plan, or we will look back at the missed opportunity that could have saved millions of Americans lives and trillions of dollars in avoidable costs…It is a big task, but they have history on their side. America has done it before. We must do it again. Urgently."

Research, science, and technology 

  • An April 9, 2014 Health Affairs blog post by Dr. Dora Hughes, of Sidley Austin's government strategies practice, made the case for PET beta-amyloid imaging coverage. According to Dr. Hughes, "To that end, this Administration must support and reward innovation by providing a clear path to coverage and reimbursement for novel products.  Important steps include better defining appropriate clinical outcomes for diagnostic interventions and the types of data needed to support coverage decisions. Additionally, CMS and other payors should clarify how comparative effectiveness research and real world evidence will be integrated into coverage decision-making… In this regard, the Alzheimer’s powerful community of stakeholders must be commended for its ongoing commitment to expanding research and improving care for the five million Americans and their families living with AD."
  • An April 9, 2014 San Francisco Weekly article reported on UC San Francisco's efforts to leverage technology to tackle Alzheimer's and brain research. According to the article, "Launched this week, the Brain Health Registry is an online database that streamlines the process of recruiting subjects for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, and making that research from clinical trials available to the public. Rosenberg Alzheimer's Project as well as The Ray and the Dagmar Dolby Family Fund are funding the project...Normally, clinical trials are expensive to run and finding patients can often be time-consuming. Michael Weiner, a neurology professor at UCSF and principal investigator of the registry, says that the database will help expedite the clinical research process."


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