Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Mary Grealy on the need to support research and innovation, caution over dementia screenings, and researchers develop blood test for Alzheimer's (read more).  


Must reads

  • A July 29, 2013 The Hill opinion piece by Mary Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council, urged policymakers to support research and innovation in the medical field. According to Grealy, "Early innovations, made available to patients, have led us to the point where there are very promising candidates to vaccinate against or cure the disease.  To achieve tangible, improved outcomes for patients, we have to allow the wheels of progress to turn. A cost-efficient, quality-driven healthcare system won't be achieved by curbing innovation to save money in the short term.  We need to encourage the research and development that will lead to more exciting and beneficial breakthroughs.  Diseases like Alzheimer's are, unquestionably, going to cost our society in both lives and resources.  The medical innovation decisions we make today will determine how extensive those costs will be."
  • A July 29, 2013 New York Times article reported on concerns over dementia screenings. According to the article, "But the push for ever-earlier dementia screening raises troubling questions for patients and their families. When the diagnosis is early Alzheimer’s disease, the medical profession has little treatment to offer. This month, researchers at an Alzheimer’s Association conference in Boston urged policy makers to think hard before recommending wider dementia screening, saying studies have found no evidence that early detection improves outcomes."
  • A July 28, 2013 Great Falls Tribune opinion piece by John Edward Porter, chairman of Research!America’s board, highlighted how sequestration undermines medical innovation. According to Porter, "How will we ever find cures for Alzheimer’s, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses under this scenario? If we continue on this trajectory, patients and their families will bear the brunt of these heavy-handed spending cuts…This is not the time to allow our nation’s research enterprise to falter. We must persuade Congress to put the interests of the people and the welfare of our nation above ideology. Let’s insist that both parties tackle tax and entitlement reform and, once again, make investments in science, technology, innovation and research among our nation’s highest priorities. It’s not too late to change course."

 Research and science 

  • A July 29, 2013 Fox News article reported that "Researchers from Saarland University in Germany have developed a new diagnostic technique that involves analyzing microscopic fragments of genetic material floating in the blood." According to the article, "In a study published in the journal Genome Biology, researchers analyzed 140 microRNAs (genetic fragments) in both healthy people and patients with Alzheimer’s.  They discovered 12 microRNAs in the blood of Alzheimer’s patients that presented at significantly different levels than in those without the disease.Utilizing those biomarkers, the research team developed a blood test that was able to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease with a 93 percent accuracy rate in 202 patients."
  • A July 29, 2013 Bloomberg article reported that British researchers have found that "Bacteria linked to gum disease traveled to the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that dental hygiene plays a role in the development of the memory-robbing illness."



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