Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
An April 2, 2018 Endpoints News article (subscription required for full article) looked at the current state of Alzheimer’s disease trials R&D. According to the article, “About five years ago we saw the first distinct shift of Alzheimer’s research programs into earlier diagnoses for the disease. If drugs had little chance of treating a disease once it had started causing obvious signs of brain damage, maybe they’d have a shot if therapy began early on, when patients could still be evaluated using standard tests for cognition and daily function.”
An April 2, 2018 NJ.com article advised on the importance of early detection as the best defense against the progression of dementia and the preservation of brain health. According to the article and Dr. Oscar Lopez of the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, “People with mild cognitive impairment are at a higher risk of eventually developing Alzheimer's disease, so Lopez says it's particularly important to detect that early because there are treatments available to them that can lower their risk of dementia -- if they get those treatments soon enough.”
A CBS News “60 Minutes” broadcast segment looked at the discovery of a previously unknown form of brain injury in veterans exposed to the invisible wave of energy from high explosives such as an IED. Dr. Daniel Perl oversees the brain tissue repository at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where researchers examined brain tissue from eight veterans under a microscope many thousands of times more powerful than the best MRI. Dr. Perl says the difference between this type of brain injury and CTE is significant.
According to a March 27, 2018 AARP article, a new AARP survey of LGBT adults age 45+, “Maintaining Dignity: Understanding and Responding to the Challenges Facing Older LGBT Americans,” finds that 76 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender older adults are worried that they won’t have the familial and social caregiving support they’ll need as they age. They are less likely to have kids and more likely to be single. More than 60 percent are concerned about discrimination or harassment in long-term care facilities, and would welcome LGBT-friendly signifiers.
An April 2, 2018 Healthcare IT News article spotlighted the new Seqster platform, which lets people with Alzheimer’s disease aggregate and control all of their available health information, including electronic health record, wearables, ancestry and genomics data. According to Seqster's Ardy Arianpour, "Our aim was to empower individuals to take full ownership of all of their health data, understand it better, and share it with others on their own terms. I see an immediate need for better ways to support day-to-day decisions as well as a longer term need to preserve and pass on valuable data to future generations for breakthrough discoveries."
An April 2, 2018 Domestic Shelters post addressed what to do if a once-loving partner with Alzheimer’s disease becomes aggressive or violent. NIH research shows that 96 percent of patients with dementia have shown aggressive behavior. According to Amy Berman of the John A. Hartford Foundation, “Caretakers’ safety is incredibly important. Even though they understand the disease… they should never just accept that this [violent behavior] is the norm. This can turn your life upside down. It’s important they get the help they need.”