The National Institutes of Health has launched a new initiative to identify biomarkers and track the progression of Alzheimer’s in people with Down syndrome. Many people with Down syndrome have Alzheimer’s-related brain changes in their 30s that can lead to dementia in their 50s and 60s. Little is known about how the disease progresses in this vulnerable group.
Two recent blog posts illustrate the complex challenge to NIA in its current budget planning. On the one hand, we have launched a substantial “short-term, high-priority” R56 award program in response to the intense competition for our limited pool of competing general research funds. On the other hand, we have announced the publication of 10 funding opportunity announcements with a primary focus on Alzheimer’s disease.
In the last five years of life, total health care spending for people with dementia was more than a quarter-million dollars per person, some 57 percent greater than costs associated with death from other diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The new analysis, appearing in the Oct. 27, 2015, online issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, estimates that total health care spending was $287,000 for those with probable dementia and $183,000 for other Medicare beneficiaries in the study.
Imagine having access to more than 100 measures that can be used as a common currency across diverse study designs and settings. And, imagine being able to access this system through a tablet computer. You don’t have to imagine all this, because it exists and is available in the NIH Toolbox®.
Everyone who is anyone is going to be at the National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA), including many of NIA’s senior and program staff. If you want the most up-to-date information on NIA’s budget and funding, scientific program activities, and research highlights, tune in and join us for the National Advisory Council on Aging meeting tomorrow morning.
On September 18, older adults will join the U.S. Surgeon General, the Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), fitness expert Donna Richardson, and leaders from a number of agencies and organizations for a fitness walk in the Nation’s capital. The event, which features the NIA Go4Life exercise and physical activity campaign and Step It Up!
A National Institutes of Health-supported study provides some of the first clues about the impact of sustained calorie restriction in adults. Results from a two-year clinical trial show calorie restriction in normal-weight and moderately overweight people did not have some metabolic effects found in laboratory animal studies. However, the researchers found calorie restriction modified risk factors for age-related diseases and influenced indicators associated with longer life span, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
Go4Life® is NIA’s national exercise and physical activity campaign for people 50+ which seeks to empower older adults to become more physically active. In September 2015, we celebrate our first-ever Go4Life Month, in collaboration with the White House Conference on Aging, working with our Go4Life partners across the country to conduct events and attract further attention to the campaign. But, Go4Life has much yet to do—and we need your help.