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?
Quick heads-up about a great event next month for those based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- When: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 / 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM PDT
- Where: Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley
- What: 2019 UC Berkeley Aging Research & Technology Summit: Disrupting Neurodegenerative Diseases
Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases are [Read more…] about September 17th @ UC Berkeley: Disrupting neurodegenerative diseases
As the president and medical director of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF), it’s my job to stay on top of advances in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Recently, a number of articles in the medical literature have caught my attention. They are focused on a particular question that concerns most Baby Boomers like me: “Is memory loss just a normal part of aging?” [Read more…] about The Future of Preventive Brain Medicine: Breaking Down the Cognition & Alzheimer’s Disease Alphabet Soup
Dr. John Docherty is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Weill Medical College, Cornell University, Director of Post Graduate Education there, and Chief Medical Officer of Brain Resource. Trained as a clinical research fellow in neuropsychopharmacology at NIMH, he later returned as Chief of the Psychosocial Treatments Research Branch, responsible for all federally supported psychosocial treatment research in mental health nationwide. He oversaw the landmark National Collaborative Study of the Treatment of Depression and served as a member and Chairman for over 10 years on the NIMH and then NIDA Treatment Research IRGs. Dr. Docherty has wide experience in successfully implementing innovation in both clinical operations and managed health care. He founded Northeast Psychiatric Associates in 1985. As National Medical Director for National Medical Enterprises, he oversaw medical control and quality improvement in 74 hospitals in 34 states. He was the Executive Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer for Merit Behavioral Care, which then covered 30 million people. In 1998, he founded Comprehensive NeuroScience (CNS). Its Care Management Technologies are currently implemented in 17 state Medicaid plans. Dr Docherty has received numerous honors and awards and has authored over 100 scientific publications.
(Editor’s note: this interview with Dr. John Docherty was originally published in SharpBrains’ market report Transforming Brain Health with Digital Tools to Assess, Enhance and Treat Cognition across the Lifespan, published in July 2010)
Alvaro Fernandez: Dr. Docherty, it is a pleasure to be with you today to discuss the main theme of SharpBrains’ 2010 market report – how the convergence of scientific findings and technology platforms and tools is reshaping how as a society and as individuals we will take care of cognition and mental wellness along the lifecourse, giving birth to the emerging digital brain health and fitness market. Can you first briefly discuss your career trajectory and your current role at Brain Resource?
Dr. John Docherty: Sure. The main theme of my work since the 1960s has remained the same, “How do we put knowledge into effective use to improve mental health?” Over the last century, medicine made tremendous progress in generating scientific and clinical knowledge. Basic research discovery science and clinical treatment development science have made great progress. Within Psychiatry there was standard setting advance in the 1960’s through the NIMH-VA cooperative studies to the methodology of assessing the efficacy of psychopharmacological drugs. This work established principles adopted for the study of medications in the other areas of medicine. The study of psychotherapy, however, lagged in development. In my role of Chief of the Psychosocial Treatments Branch of the NIMH , I helped contribute to the advance of that work by supporting the efforts of an extraordinary group of individuals led by Irene Waskow who carried out the TDCRP. This study established the methodologies that made possible the effective scientific study of the efficacy of psychotherapies. The evidence base and of such treatments as CBT, DBT, Motivational Enhancement Treatment and other evidence-based psychotherapies derives directly from this study and its seminal influence. This was a contribution to the science of Clinical Treatment Development research.
I would say that my major interest, however, has been in the next step, the science of knowledge transfer. There has been and remains a long and costly (in terms particularly of unnecessary suffering) lag between the development of new knowledge and its common and effective use in practice.
In order the help the field moved forward, I have worked for the last 20 years in the development and implementation of methods to effectively transfer knowledge into practice. [Read more…] about Technology as the missing link to enable a brain-based model of brain care: interview with Dr. John Docherty
Round-up of interesting recent news on cognitive health and fitness: the field is in motion.
2) Cognitive tests are the best way to select medical studentsÃ‚Â (EurekAlert)
3) High blood pressure hard on the aging brainÃ‚Â (Reuters)
4) Alzheimer’s tests beneficial for seniorsÃ‚Â (Atlanta-Journal Constitutional)
5) Dementia-Dreading Baby Boomers Spur Race to Invent Brain GamesÃ‚Â (Bloomberg)
6) Vivity Labs launches Fit Brains brain-training game siteÃ‚Â (VentureBeat)Ã‚Â
7) Depression and Alzheimer’sÃ‚Â (NHS Choices)
For selected quotes and comments, [Read more…] about Cognitive Health News Round-Up
I find via MindHacks that NYT Magazine has published a great article titledÃ‚Â The Gregarious Brain, subtitled “Williams syndrome — a genetic accident that causes cognitive deficits-”. The writer, David Dobbs, does an spectacular job at explaining that syndrome in the context of what cognitive skills are and how they evolved. Some sample quotes:
- “In the view of two of Bellugi’s frequent collaborators, Albert Galaburda, a Harvard Medical School professor of neurology and neuroscience, and Allan Reiss, a neuroscientist at the Stanford School of Medicine, Nicki’s learned facility at sports talk illustrates a central lesson of Williams and, for that matter, modern genetics: genes (or their absence) do not hard-wire people for certain behaviors. There is no gene for understanding calculus. But genes do shape behavior and personality, and they do so by creating brain structures and functions that favor certain abilities and appetites more than others.”
- “…This doesn’t mean that specific behaviors are hard-wired. M.I.T. math majors aren’t born doing calculus, and people with Williams don’t enter life telling stories. As Allan Reiss put it: “It’s not just ‘genes make brain make behavior.’ You have environment and experience too. By environment, Reiss means less the atmosphere of a home or a school than the endless string of challenges and opportunities that life presents any person starting at birth.”
- (Talking about when our ancestors started to live in larger groups) “But the bigger groups imposed a new brain load: the members had to be smart enough to balance their individual needs with those of the pack. This meant cooperating and exercising some individual restraint. It also required [Read more…] about The Gregarious Brain and cognitive skills