The first drug purporting to slow the advance of Alzheimer’s disease is likely to cost the U.S. health care system billions annually even as it remains out of reach for many of the lower-income seniors most likely to suffer from dementia.
Medicare and Medicaid patients will make up 92% of the market for lecanemab, according to Eisai Co., which sells the drug under the brand name Leqembi. In addition to the company’s $26,500 annual price tag for the drug, treatment could cost U.S. taxpayers $82,500 per patient per year, on average, for genetic tests and frequent brain scans, safety monitoring, and other care, according to estimates from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, or ICER. [Read more…] about Price tag for a questionable Alzheimer’s treatment: $109,000 per patient, per year. Unclear yet: For how many years?
For decades, growth charts have been used by paediatricians as reference tools. The charts allow health professionals to plot and measure a child’s height and weight from birth to young adulthood. The percentile scores they provide, especially across multiple visits, help doctors screen for conditions such as obesity or inadequate growth, which fall at the extremes of these scores.
Meanwhile, it is possible to measure brain development with imaging technologies such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerised tomography (CT). The development of these technologies has led to a wealth of research on how the brain changes, and each year, millions of clinical brain scans are performed worldwide. Despite this progress, there are few measures that are used to aid in monitoring brain development. Why? [Read more…] about Collaborative neuroimaging initiative BrainChart helps chart how brains change across the lifespan
Body weight has surprising, alarming impact on brain function (Science Daily):
As a person’s weight goes up, all regions of the brain go down in activity and blood flow, according to a new brain imaging study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease … scientists analyzed over 35,000 functional neuroimaging scans using single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) from more than 17,000 individuals to measure blood flow and brain activity. [Read more…] about Higher body mass index (BMI) linked to lower blood supply to the brain in large neuroimaging study
Neuroimaging: Many Analysts, Differing Results (Dana Foundation):
For decades, both the research and medical communities have relied on neuroimaging tools like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to give them a window into the living human brain. Such scans have provided unprecedented insights into the brain’s structure and function – and the field, as a whole, has used this technique to better understand how the brain gives rise to thoughts, emotions, and actions. But as neuroimaging technology has advanced, so have the different analysis tools and the number of ways one can evaluate the resulting data. Now, the results of unique research project, the Neuroimaging Analysis, Replication, and Prediction Study (NARPS), suggest that different analyses can lead to strikingly different results from the same data set.
“Formula 1 team McLaren Racing has signed a multi-year partnership with Swiss neurotechnology firm MindMaze to continue testing neurosensing technology on its drivers.
MindMaze’s combination of virtual reality, motion capture and EEG brain scans has previously [Read more…] about McLaren and MindMaze race to the future
Time to wrap-up another very active month with our SharpBrains e‑newsletter summarizing exciting developments in brain research, healthcare and technology — plus a couple fun brain teasers to spark curiosity and innovation 🙂
New brain research:
- Brain scans shed light on the brain networks supporting Awe
- For World Mental Health Day let’s review how a healthy diet can promote mental well-being
- Strenuous physical exercise may lead to cognitive –not just physical– fatigue
New thinking about brain & mental health:
- The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) shares discussion paper to help empower 8 billion minds
- A call to action: We need the right incentives to guide ethical innovation in neurotech and healthcare
- Qantas monitors brainwaves of pilots and passengers to test 19.5‑hour flight from NY to Sydney
- UW Medicine creates new Institute for Brain Health Solutions
Emerging neurotech and digital brain health:
- Bayer to support 11 digital health startups, 5 of which are developing behavioral/ cognitive/ mental health solutions
- BrainCheck raises $8 million to digitize cognitive assessments and better serve the aging population
- Novartis dissolves agreement to market Pear Therapeutics’ prescription digital therapeutics for substance/ opioid abuse
- After 8‑year follow-up, study finds robust and sustained antidepressant response to deep brain stimulation (DBS)
Finally, a couple fun brain teasers:
- Quick: Answer this to stretch your mind and recognize your biases
- Which train is going the wrong way?
Have a excellent Halloween…
The SharpBrains Team