Alzheimer's disease

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) has released the report, “Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward” which found that current evidence does not support education campaigns encouraging the adoption of specific interventions to prevent mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease. The committee, chaired by Dr. Alan Leshner, CEO Emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Research!America board member, conducted an extensive scientific review to provide recommendations for public health messaging and future research. Commissioned by the National Institute on Aging, the committee cited “encouraging...
At the Alzheimer’s Association, we launched a bold campaign titled “The First Survivor.” The ad shares our unwavering vision of achieving a goal that is not yet possible – having someone survive Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps you’ve seen it. The ad describes a future state – but one that can’t come soon enough for the Alzheimer’s Association or the 5.5 million Americans living with the disease and their families. Today though, Alzheimer’s is fatal. There are no survivors. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only leading cause that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Since 2000, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased 89 percent; while deaths associated...
Alzheimer’s disease is the 6 th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affecting 11% of the population 65 years and older. Without a treatment or prevention breakthrough, studies estimate there could be as many as 13.5 million Americans living with the disease by 2050 with associated health care costs rising above $1 trillion. However, the research has progressed, as scientists unlock and unveil the secrets of the brain. Recently, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that measures of the tau protein are better markers of the cognitive decline of Alzheimer's than measures of amyloid beta...
Candidates running for national office never miss an opportunity to share their solutions on the many problems facing our country with voters. From terrorism to transportation to education, the presidential candidates clamor for attention on hot button issues of the day. Yet they are not outlining their proposed solutions for healing what literally ails Americans - Alzheimer's disease, cancer, mental illnesses, and many other health threats. Despite the prevalence of disease and its impact to our health, economy and national security, candidates seem to be giving this issue a pass. Only 14% of Americans say they are very well-informed of the positions of current candidates for President...
This op-ed appeared online on Roll Call July 31, 2015. New technology such as CRISPR-Cas9, a genuine scientific breakthrough, is raising hope for patients with cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia and other major health threats. The gene editing tool, used in precision medicine, allows changes to be introduced into the DNA of any living cell— potentially enabling repair of disease causing mutations, neutralization of disease carrying insects, and much more. This technology, developed with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), is an example of the realization of the promise of innovative research funded by our federal science...
Strange bedfellows? Not when it comes to research advocacy. On Monday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07) to press for more R&D in the bioscience arena. Not every topic is one on which Senator Warren and Speaker Gingrich agree , but they found common ground in the benefits that could come from another NIH doubling. The drumbeat for medical research continues apace. The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released what is sure to be an influential report this week, Advancing Medical Innovation for a Healthier America . Focused on the development phase of the discovery, development, delivery continuum, the...
Research!America’s science communications event, “Research Matters Communications Workshop: Promoting Basic Research in a New Age of Communications: Challenges and Opportunities,” was held October 9 at the Marvin Center on the campus of the George Washington University in Washington, DC. GWU’s vice president for research, Leo Chalupa, PhD (pictured at right), opened the day with remarks that implored the nearly 100 young scientists in attendance to think about their families when they communicate. “Act like your Aunt Harriet is in the audience,” Chalupa said; his welcoming remarks indeed laid the groundwork for the workshop, as Aunt Harriet would be referenced frequently throughout the...
Research!America’s science communications event, “Research Matters Communications Workshop: Promoting Basic Research in a New Age of Communications: Challenges and Opportunities,” was held October 9 at the Marvin Center on the campus of the George Washington University in Washington, DC. GWU’s vice president for research, Leo Chalupa, PhD (pictured at right), opened the day with remarks that implored the nearly 100 young scientists in attendance to think about their families when they communicate. “Act like your Aunt Harriet is in the audience,” Chalupa said; his welcoming remarks indeed laid the groundwork for the workshop, as Aunt Harriet would be referenced frequently throughout the...
Op-ed by Abigail Schindler, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington , Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and co-leader of the Seattle Forum on Science Ethics and Policy published in The Seattle Times . When I think about not being a scientist anymore my heart hurts. But sadly, due to continued budget cuts to biomedical research, within the next few years that is most likely exactly what I will be ’€” no longer a scientist, no longer a researcher searching for cures for disease. And I am not alone. The number of young scientists being forced out of basic biomedical research in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate, and when this next generation of...
Op-ed by Abigail Schindler, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington , Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and co-leader of the Seattle Forum on Science Ethics and Policy published in The Seattle Times . When I think about not being a scientist anymore my heart hurts. But sadly, due to continued budget cuts to biomedical research, within the next few years that is most likely exactly what I will be ’€” no longer a scientist, no longer a researcher searching for cures for disease. And I am not alone. The number of young scientists being forced out of basic biomedical research in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate, and when this next generation of...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco