- Research – The funding of new research projects by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will focus on key areas in which emerging technologies and new approaches in clinical testing now allow for a more comprehensive assessment of the disease. Two major clinical trials are being funded. One is a $7.9 million effort to test an insulin nasal spray for treating Alzheimer’s disease. A second study is the first prevention trial in people at the highest risk for the disease.
- Tools for Clinicians – The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded $2 million in funding through its geriatric education centers to provide high-quality training for doctors, nurses, and other health care providers on recognizing the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and how to manage the disease.
- HHS’ new website, www.alzheimers.gov, offers resources and support to those facing Alzheimer’s disease and their friends and family.
- Awareness campaign – The first new television advertisement encouraging caregivers to seek information at the new website was debuted.
This funding will be extremely important especially in light of one recent study that found that one-third of Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses were incorrect. Researchers working on the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study — an ongoing study that’s been in progress since 1991 — have been studying the brain changes caused by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. When pathologists studied the brains of 852 men diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they found that the diagnosis was wrong in one-third of the time; correct one-third of the time; and partially wrong one-third of the time, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“Pulling these things apart and the need for a real diagnosis — that’s important so people can live the best quality of life as possible for as long as possible,” Jennifer Howard, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Michigan Great Lakes Chapter, told the Free Press.
Howard recommends consultations with interdisciplinary team with both geriatricians and neurologists to gain more accurate diagnoses.
For more information on the national plan to address Alzheimer’s disease, visit: www.alzheimers.gov.
To read the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, visit http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/napa/NatlPlan.pdf.