Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
A March 19, 2018 Time article spotlighted the role of millennials taking on caregiving responsibilities. According to a report by the AARP, nearly 25% of the 43 million adult caregivers in the U.S. are between the ages of 18 and 34. And according to a YouthAgainstAlzheimer's (a network of UsAgainstAlzheimer's) collaborative report, one in six millennial caregivers is helping someone with Alzheimer’s disease. “…More young adults are getting involved in caregiving advocacy… We need to look at how to empower and help young folks when it comes to caregiving,” says Jason Resendez of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, which is working with youth-focused groups to take advantage of millennials’ tech savvy and drive to find caregiver solutions.
A March 9, 2018 USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging at USC University of Southern California article quoted figures from Roybal’s collaborative report, “Latinos and Alzheimer’s Disease: New Numbers Behind the Crisis,” with USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. The report finds that Alzheimer’s diagnoses are rising in tandem with the U.S.’s aging population, but are disproportionately affecting Latinos. According to the article, “Latino families are less able to access formal treatment from medical providers and social workers, which leads to more severe cases of dementia as conditions progress.”
According to a March 20, 2018 Bloomberg article, a new report commissioned to study the potential savings of earlier Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis found that the U.S. is projected to spend $277 billion on dementia care in 2018. Early diagnosis is key to cost savings. In 2025, it is projected that 7.1 million Americans will have AD and by 2050, numbers could reach 13.8 million. Also covered by Forbes.
A March 18, 2018 National Public Radio “All Things Considered - Brave New Workers” radio segment and article, “More Than A Job: Home Care For A Mom With Alzheimer's Disease,” featured the story of Celina Raddatz. She quit her nursing home job to care full time for her mom who has Alzheimer’s disease. According to Raddatz, “When my mother was sane, she made us promise never to put her in a nursing home. And of course, us young kids said, 'OK, mom we would never...' But we never ever once ever thought that she would get sick like this." Raddatz receives some federal and state dollars through the In-Home Supportive Services program.
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
A March 20, 2018 Phys.org article pointed to research from the University of South Florida which finds that betanin, a compound in beets, could help slow the accumulation of misfolded beta-amyloid in the brain, a key hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. According to Darrell Cole Cerrato, "We can't say that betanin stops the misfolding completely, but we can say that it reduces oxidation. Less oxidation could prevent misfolding to a certain degree, perhaps even to the point that it slows the aggregation of beta-amyloid peptides, which is believed to be the ultimate cause of Alzheimer's."
CLINICAL TRIAL SPOTLIGHT
A March 19, 2018 Endpoints News article reported that drugmaker Alzheon needs to raise additional funds for Phase III studies of its amyloid-blocking, once-daily ALZ-801 pill. The purpose of the drug is to delay the development of symptoms in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease patients. Phase III testing will begin this year. Also covered by Fierce Biotech and BioSpace.
A March 9, 2018 CSR Wire News release spotlighted the U.S. employees of Bristol-Myers Squibb, who are being granted expanded paid time-off for critical life events, including caregiving for seriously ill family. According to Chief Human Resources Officer Ann Powell Judge, “We realize that our employees can work best when they feel their responsibilities at home and at work are being supported. The benefits we’ve added provide additional flexibility when their families need them the most.”
A March 14, 2018 Next Avenue article looked at the potential use of Artificial Intelligence to enhance the lives of older adults. AI could provide lower health care costs, better transportation, longer employment, alleviate isolation, remove the stigma of growing old, develop new drugs, and help doctors detect Alzheimer’s disease in their patients.