What Can Be Done with $350 million? (a lot, we hope)

Alzheimer’s research got a $350 million boost last week, when President Barack Obama signed the FY2016 budget into law. This historic amount marks the largest boost ever for federal Alzheimer’s research funding — a nearly 60 percent increase over FY2015 funding levels.
Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death among the nation’s top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed. Today, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, along with their more than 15 million caregivers.

Currently, there are treatments that boost performance of the chemicals in the brain that carry information from one brain cell to another. However, these treatments don’t stop the underlying decline and death of brain cells. As more cells die, Alzheimer’s continues to progress.

The following Alzheimer’s research is currently being conducted or is on the horizon:

-Immunization strategies
: An early Alzheimer’s vaccine to reach clinical trials seemed to be effective when it mobilized a person’s own immune system to attack the Alzheimer’s-causing proteins. However, researchers stopped this study ahead of time when some participants developed acute brain inflammation. Although the trial ended before researchers could fully assess the vaccine’s effectiveness, the study demonstrated that immunization strategies could have a powerful effect on the brain.

-Blood Transfusions:
 A current research effort is being conducted to explore the value of intravenous (IV) infusions derived from donated blood. The blood from the donors could contain naturally occurring antibodies to fight the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s.

-Production blockers: 
Research has shown that Alzheimer’s proteins are produced from a “parent protein” in two steps performed by two different enzymes. Several experimental drugs aim to block the activity of the two enzymes.

-Reducing inflammation: 
Alzheimer’s causes chronic, low-level brain cell inflammation. Researchers are studying ways to treat inflammatory processes at work in Alzheimer’s disease.  So far, studies in nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have had varying results, but haven’t confirmed that these drugs prevent or delay progress of Alzheimer’s.-Insulin resistance: Researchers are studying the effects of insulin on the brain and brain cell function, and insulin changes in the brain that may be related to Alzheimer’s. A trial is testing an insulin nasal spray to determine if it slows the progression of Alzheimer’s.-Studying the heart-head connection: The risk of developing Alzheimer’s appears to increase as a result of many conditions that damage the heart or arteries, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol. Researchers are investigating whether drugs now used to treat these conditions may also help people with Alzheimer’s or reduce the risk of developing the disease. In addition, researchers have explored whether lifestyle choices with known heart benefits, such as exercising on most days and eating a heart-healthy diet, may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease or delay its onset.

Cognitive activities: Studies research whether thinking (cognitive) activities, such as memory training, may help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s. Researchers also are studying whether social interaction may positively affect cognitive function.

A Partnership to Help Accelerate Research and Treatment Options

Developing new medications is a slow and painstaking process. The pace can be especially frustrating for people with Alzheimer’s and their families who are waiting for new treatment options. To help accelerate discovery, the Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD), an alliance of pharmaceutical companies, nonprofit foundations and government advisers, have forged a first-of-its-kind partnership to share data from Alzheimer’s clinical trials. Researchers anticipate that sharing these data from more than 4,000 study participants will speed development of more-effective therapies.

Medicaid Planning for Alzheimer’s

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is life-changing for both diagnosed individuals and those close to them.  While it’s never easy to think about, if you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s imperative to make an appointment with a Certified Elder Law Attorney, such as myself, to determine who to name to make legal, financial, and medical decisions when your loved one is no longer able to do so. In addition, if your loved one hasn’t done so already, it is also of utmost importance to determine how he or she will pay for long-term care without financially bankrupting the family.

Medicaid Asset Protection

People with Alzheimer’s live on average four to eight years after they’re diagnosed, but some may live 20 years beyond their initial diagnosis. Do you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s? Persons with Alzheimer’s and their families face special legal and financial needs. Here at the Farr Law Firm, we are dedicated to easing the financial and emotional burden on those suffering from dementia and their loved ones.

If you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia or memory loss, we can help you prepare for your future financial and long-term care needs.  We help protect the family’s hard-earned assets while maintaining your loved one’s comfort, dignity, and quality of life by ensuring eligibility for critical government benefits such as Medicaid and Veterans Aid and Attendance. Call us to make an initial appointment for a consultation:

Fairfax Alzheimer’s Attorney: 703-691-1888
Fredericksburg Alzheimer’s Attorney: 540-479-1435
Rockville Alzheimer’s Attorney: 301- 519-8041
DC Alzheimer’s Attorney: 202-587-2797
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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.