“The staggering increase in cases of ASD should raise more suspicion in the medical community about its misdiagnosis and overdiagnosis than it does. The science stacks up in favor of catching and treating ASD earlier because it leads to better outcomes…What gets lost in the debate is [Read more…] about Is Autism Spectrum Disorder overdiagnosed?
Dr. Whitehouse will discuss why and how we need to revamp Alzheimer’s Diagnosis, Prevention and Care, at the upcoming 2012 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (June 7–14th, 2012), building on this quote he gave to an ABC News story 2 days ago:
“The field of Alzheimer’s research is getting a little distorted. There’s a constant need to focus on magic bullets and single molecules,” Whitehouse told ABC News. “It really requires a public health focus. The most effective interventions are not going to be drugs.” [Read more…] about Dr. Peter Whitehouse on Revamping Alzheimer’s Diagnosis, Prevention and Care
Is ADHD overdiagnosed? Despite widespread concerns that this occurs, a study that specifically addresses this issue has not been conducted in the US. Thus, although it is well established that many children with ADHD are never identified or treated, the extent to which children are incorrectly diagnosed with ADHD is not known. [Read more…] about Is ADHD overdiagnosed? Findings from a new study in Germany
- “The revised definition of a brain condition called mild cognitive impairment means that many people now considered to have mild or early Alzheimer’s disease could easily be given that diagnosis instead, suggests a new study.” [Read more…] about Diagnosing early Alzheimer’s and Mild Cognitive Impairment: Emerging Challenges and Implications
In the midst of much healthcare reform talk, not enough attention seems focused on ensuring healthcare systems’ preparedness to deal with cognitive health issues ‑with Alzheimer’s Disease as the most dramatic example- which are predicted to grow given aging population trends.
Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, and the USA Today comments on a new report that makes stark predictions:
Global Alzheimer’s cases expected to rise sharply (USA Today)
- “The 2009 World Alzheimer’s Report, released today, estimates 35 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The figure is a 10% increase over 2005 numbers.”
- “The number of people affected by Alzheimer’s is growing at a rapid rate, and the increasing personal costs will have significant impact on the world’s economies and health care systems,” said Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association. “We must make the fight against Alzheimer’s a priority here in the United States and worldwide,” he said.
- “The report by London-based nonprofit Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), an international federation of 71 national Alzheimer organizations (including the Alzheimer’s Association), indicates that the number of people with dementia is expected to grow sharply to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.”
Link to report: Here
The Alzheimer’s Association is organizing multiple Memory Walks to raise awareness and funds. You can learn more and join Here. (Perhaps a good opportunity to organize a “walking book group” as Arthur Kramer suggested in the SharpBrains Guide?)
The City of San Francisco, led by its Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), convened since 2008 an Alzheimer’s/ Dementia Expert Panel to identify gaps and issue recommendations to address the growing crisis in dementia care at the city level, and is about to release a pioneering plan that may well influence public health initiatives in other cities and states. An interim document can be found here: 2020 Foresight-Strategy For Excellence in Dementia Care (pdf)
One of the major areas of focus for that strategy was Education & Prevention, and below we can share a summary of the preliminary findings and recommendations. We will highlight the final report when ready.
ALZHEIMER’S/DEMENTIA EXPERT PANEL
EDUCATION AND PREVENTION SUBCOMMITTEE
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The subcommittee’s charge was to consider how best to educate the San Francisco community about Alzheimer’s and related dementias to change attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, standards of practice, and outcomes associated with the disease.
Specific topics addressed include:
Ã‚Â· Protective factors relating to dementia, including risk factors and brain health
Ã‚Â· Early identification of dementia
Ã‚Â· Early access to services
Ã‚Â· Community education
Ã‚Â· Education of professionals and nonprofessionals, including physicians, psychiatrists and psychologists, social workers, nurses, and other caregivers, both paid caregivers and informal caregivers such as family and friends
Ã‚Â· Ethical issues
Ã‚Â· Policy issues
The dissemination of accurate information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias can play an important role in [Read more…] about Alzheimer’s Disease: is our Healthcare System Ready?