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AAGP and GMHF have moved!
The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and Geriatric Mental Health Foundation MOVED on Aug. 1. Please be sure you have our newest contact information!

NEW Contact Info:
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry &
Geriatric Mental Health Foundation
6728 Old McLean Village Drive
McLean, Virginia 22101
NEW PHONE: (703) 556-9222
NEW FAX: (703) 556-8729
http://www.AAGPonline.org

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans, March 27-30, 2015 for the AAGP Annual Meeting!
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AAGP leader Stephen Bartels advocates for attention to older adults From SAMHSA
Steve Bartels represented the AAGP at an expert panel convened by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) (SAMHSA) on July 8-9 discussing outreach and engagement for persons with serious mental illness. Dr. Bartels used the opportunity to highlight the Institute of Medicine report which strongly supported the need to remedy the loss of a focused initiative on aging at SAMHSA. Bartels also emphasized the critical need for federal agencies to take ownership and responsibility for ensuring that older adults have access to mental health care. Dr. Bartels' advocacy offered a needed voice on the SAMHSA panel, as the initial agenda had omitted aging issues.

This remarkable omission of older adult care needs was also evident in the recently proposed strategic plan: Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA's Roles and Actions 2015-2018 released for public feedback this month (see link below). The AAGP has responded to the strategic plan with a statement that the omission of geriatric mental health in the SAMHA plan is a deeply concerning error that fails to appreciate the impending needs of aging baby boomers that will rapidly be overwhelming our mental health systems.

As noted in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article with lead author Bartels:
  • "Older adults with mental health disorders have greater disability than those with physical illness alone, as well as poorer health outcomes and higher rates of hospitalization and emergency department visits, resulting in per person costs that are 47% to more than 200% higher.1,2 Yet mental health services account for only 1% of Medicare expenditures."
  • Despite the well documented shortfall in services and a trained workforce addressing the rapidly growing needs of this vulnerable population: "a decade-long initiative by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration implementing evidence-based geriatric mental health and substance-abuse programs throughout the country was recently eliminated, just as the wave of Baby Boomers turning 65 began to crest."

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1211456
Ideas that SAMHSA may wish to consider to begin to address this error may include supporting an Older Americans Mental Health Day, potentially supported by SAMHSA in partnership with AAGP, with the goal of bringing attention to the issue and holding an expert consensus meeting to develop a white paper on the topic of developing a national strategy. We at the AAGP will continue to press ahead so that omissions as seen in the strategic plan to do not persist and will ask that our leaders in Congress support the recommendations from the IOM to restore dedicated funding at SAMHSA for program dissemination and implementation specifically addressing the needs of older adults.
  1. Institute of Medicine. The mental health and substance use workforce for older adults: in whose hands? Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2012.
  2. Bartels SJ, Naslund JA. The underside of the silver tsunami — Older adults and mental health care. NEJM 2013; 493-496.

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IN THE NEWS


Elderly with depression, mild cognitive impairment more vulnerable to accelerated brain aging
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine via EurekAlert!
People who develop depression and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) after age 65 are more likely to have biological and brain imaging markers that reflect a greater vulnerability for accelerated brain aging, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings were published online in Molecular Psychiatry.
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Link between vitamin D and dementia risk confirmed
University of Exeter
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people, according to the most robust study of its kind ever conducted.

An international team, led by Dr. David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, found that study participants who were severely Vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
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Hospitals prep for more patients with dementia
HealthLeaders Media
An aging population is already expected to strain U.S. healthcare resources, and recent studies suggest that dementia represents both a major health risk and a considerable cost driver. In addition, this long-term decline in cognition takes a significant toll on patients, their families and the providers who care for them.

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Cannabis, cognition and confusion in research
By Denise A. Valenti
Of the 22 states in the United States that allow for the medical use of marijuana, 13 specify Alzheimer's disease as one of the approved conditions. Some studies report benefits to AD patients, but other research is inconclusive.

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Study: 1 in 3 Alzheimer's cases 'preventable'
WebMD
About one-third of Alzheimer's disease cases are preventable, according to research by the University of Cambridge, England. The study identifies seven risk factors, with lack of exercise topping the list.

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Older adults sharpest in the morning, small study finds
HealthDay via U.S. News & World Report
Older adults' minds may be sharpest in the morning, a new small study finds. Canadian researchers used functional MRI to monitor the brain activity of 16 younger adults (aged 19 to 30) and 16 older adults (aged 60 to 82) as they did a series of memory tests while subjected to distractions
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Alzheimer's disease has been reversed in mice
TIME
Though all mice studies should be viewed with quelled excitement, a new Yale School of Medicine study shows that scientists were able to reverse Alzheimer's disease with a single dose of a drug compound. The researchers gave mice with Alzheimer's a compound called TC-2153, which prohibits a protein called STEP (Striatal-Enriched tyrosine Phosphatase) from interfering with the brains' ability to learn and make memories.
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Hospitals prep for more patients with dementia
HealthLeaders Media
An aging population is already expected to strain U.S. healthcare resources, and recent studies suggest that dementia represents both a major health risk and a considerable cost driver. In addition, this long-term decline in cognition takes a significant toll on patients, their families and the providers who care for them.
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Latest Alzheimer's research passes the smell test
By Dr. Sheri Williams
As a seasoned administrator, I've witnessed multiple reforms in the pre-K-12 system. Some of the reforms have been initiated from within and others from outside the education profession. In my experience, the internal reforms tend to generate democratic forms of participation and more local buy-in. In sharp contrast, external reforms tend to generate complaints, politicization, widespread use of media and escalating cases of "blame and shame." Isn't it time to temper our rhetoric?
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Elderly with depression, mild cognitive impairment more vulnerable to accelerated brain aging
Medical Xpress
People who develop depression and mild cognitive impairment after age 65 are more likely to have biological and brain imaging markers that reflect a greater vulnerability for accelerated brain aging, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings were published online in Molecular Psychiatry. Older adults with major depression have double the risk of developing dementia in the future compared with those who have never had the mood disorder, said senior investigator Meryl A. Butters, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine.
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Study: An aging person's walking pace may be indicator of Alzheimer's risk
The Washington Post
The way older people walk may provide a reliable clue about how well their brain is aging and could eventually allow doctors to determine whether they are at risk of Alzheimer's, researchers have found. The study, involving thousands of older people in several countries, suggests that those whose walking pace begins to slow and who also have cognitive complaints are more than twice as likely to develop dementia within 12 years.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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