Feb 212013
 
Medicare's Decision on Whether to Cover Amyloid Brain PET Scans

Although the FDA approved florbetapir (Amyvid) in April 2012 as a tracer for PET scans in detecting brain amyloid, Medicare has not covered it. The test costs about $3,000 in total and some patients have been paying for it out of pocket. Last month, a Medicare advisory panel voted against medicare coverage for amyloid brain PET scans. Although the technology has been around for eight years, and numerous studies have shown its accuracy in detecting [...]

Jul 242012
 
The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference: Balancing Hope with Realism

This post originally appeared on the ChicagoNow blog, “Ask Dr. Chill: Practical Answers to the Toughest Caregiving Questions.” It is being reposted here with the author’s permission. Alas, I was not able to attend the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver this month, but I did follow it closely on the organization’s website. The event attracted over 4,300 scientists, physicians and other professionals in the Alzheimer’s community who gathered to discuss findings from their most recent batches [...]

Jun 012012
 
Lee's Story: My Diagnosis of Younger-Onset Alzheimer's

In 2008, at the age of 62, I was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s). Not long after, I retired after serving 23 years as the President/CEO of the Private Industry Council (PIC) of San Luis Obispo County. While I thought I was functioning well, there were ample signs a few years before, indicating not all was necessarily right with my health. Part of me recognized this, while another part of [...]

Jun 012012
 
Val's Story: A Care Partner's Perspective on Her Husband's Younger-Onset Diagnosis

I’m Valerie Ferrero, wife, mother and care partner. My husband Lee was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s)  in November 2008. This is the beginning of my story….. It is difficult to know what action to take, what plans to make, or what the future holds when you don’t have the answer to the “elephant in the room.” It took more than seven years for us to get Lee’s diagnosis of younger-onset [...]

Jan 112012
 
Alzheimer's 2011: A Year in Review

As 2012 begins, I would like to review some of the highlights of the Alzheimer’s Disease world this past year, and the new directions that we will likely be heading toward in 2012. This year we saw the publication of new diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer’ s disease formulated by committees sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association. The National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association also published guidelines for diagnosis [...]

Aug 042011
 
Guidelines Issued for Alzheimer’s Genetic Testing

New guidelines have been developed for the field of Alzheimer’s disease. They were published in the June edition of Genetics in Medicine, and jointly issued by the American College of Medical Genetics and the National Society of Genetic Counselors. The guidelines distinguish between genetic testing for dominantly inherited AD genes and that for the Alzheimer’s susceptibility gene, ApoE . The three early-onset familial AD genes — presenilin-1 (PS1), presenilin-2 (PS2) and amyloid precursor protein (APP) [...]

Jul 152011
 
Recent Developments in Amyloid Imaging

The use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease (AD) appears to be closer to becoming a clinical tool, based on results from two articles published online in the Archives of Neurology. In one study, Adam S. Fleisher, M.D., from Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, and colleagues, evaluated PET imaging using the tracer florbetapir F 18. The study population included 68 individuals with probable Alzheimer’s disease, 60 individuals with mild cognitive impairment, [...]

Jun 102011
 
A Potential Blood Test for Alzheimer's Disease

Oxidation and free radical damage are natural occurrences as our bodies are subjected to toxins and stressors from everything we encounter throughout our lifespan. When oxidation occurs, our bodies respond in the best way they know how: they reach for protective resources from within our cells to combat the damage and maintain our health. If these resources are unavailable, inflammation will occur. The processes of oxidation, free radical production and cell damage are thought to [...]

Apr 272011
 
New Guidelines for Diagnosing Alzheimer's: What Do They Mean for You?

For the first time in 27 years, new criteria and guidelines for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease have been published by three expert workgroups spearheaded by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or have a loved one with the disease, you may be asking, what does this mean for me? In the short term, the new guidelines [...]

Mar 182011
 
Studies Reveal Very Early Cognitive Declines with Familial Alzheimer's Disease

Last month, researchers Francisco Lopera and colleagues reported in the journal Lancet Neurology that they were able to capture a clear decline in cognition starting in people’s early 30s in the largest-known population with autosomal-dominant (inherited) Alzheimer’s disease. They define an earlier disease stage prior to what is called pre-MCI, in effect pushing the line of detectability back toward younger ages by some four years. Two other papers go in the same direction. Last year [...]

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