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AAGP 2014 Annual Meeting news
AAGP
Faculty for the AAGP 2014 Annual Meeting have been invited and the schedule is being finalized for the conference to be held March 14-17 in Orlando, Florida. The Advance Program will be online and registration will open in early October. The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld is now accepting reservations. Learn about the hotel and access the online reservation page at www.AAGPonline.org/hotel.

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Share your research
AAGP
Submit your research as a poster for the AAGP 2014 Annual Meeting in March in Orlando, Florida. Posters are self-explanatory visual presentations of research work. AAGP is seeking poster submissions from the full range of professionals in the field of geriatric psychiatry: physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, students, and more. Poster submissions are due in October: new research poster submissions due Oct. 1, early investigator poster submissions due Oct. 15. Learn more and submit at www.AAGPmeeting.org.
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Online education on Alzheimer's disease, geriatric depression:
Q&A on Alzheimer's on Sept. 4

AAGP
Two AAGP 2013 Annual Meeting sessions are now online, and a live Q&A segment on the Alzheimer's disease session will be held next week. Watch the AAGP symposium archive entitled Technologies to Advance the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease, and register for the live Q&A on Sept. 4, when Gary W. Small, MD, will be on hand for 30 minutes of online Ask the Expert Q&A. For the latest on late-life depression, watch the AAGP symposium archive entitled Mature Mood Matters: New and Emerging Developments in Geriatric Depression.

Technologies to Advance the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
• View Symposium Archive - participate anytime:
www.neurosciencecme.com/cmea.asp?ID=789
• Register for Ask the Expert Q&A:
www.neurosciencecme.com/cmea.asp?ID=792
Live Q&A Webcast: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. ET

Mature Mood Matters: New and Emerging Developments in Geriatric Depression
• View Symposium Archive - participate anytime:
www.neurosciencecme.com/cmea.asp?ID=786

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Natalie Shuster joins the AAGP staff
AAGP
AAGP is pleased to welcome Natalie Shuster as its new manager of marketing and membership. In her first month with the association, Natalie has been sharing news on AAGP's Twitter account (follow us at @GeriPsyc), enhancing AAGPonline.org (see our Twitter feed on the home page), and devising ways to publicize the benefits of membership. Natalie previously worked with a biotechnology trade association and a biologics research and development company, and has a master's degree from American University. She brings to AAGP her expertise in developing marketing and communications materials, managing member data, and using web communications and social media to facilitate conversation among members and introduce AAGP to a larger audience.
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The Community Health Facilities Fund
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Study of family caregiving for persons with memory concerns
AAGP
Clinicians are invited to participate in a study of family caregiving for persons with memory concerns. Researchers at the University of Minnesota's Center on Aging are gathering input on the types of support strategies most appropriate for different types of family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. Participating in this project involves providing some background information, reading short cases about persons with Alzheimer's disease with varying caregiving needs and arrangements, and suggesting the kinds of help that would be most useful. The survey can be completed in about 15 minutes, and all of the information provided is kept confidential. This work is part of an AHRQ-sponsored study ("The Dementia Caregiver Care Planning Tool: Pilot Implementation and Evaluation", HS020948) to develop a dementia caregiving care planning tool. To participate in the survey, please email Joseph E. Gaugler, PhD, at gaug0015@umn.edu to receive a link to the online survey.
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Scholars Program reminders
AAGP
Applications due Oct. 1. AAGP is now accepting applications for the Scholars Program, which provides beneficiaries with full access to all AAGP member programs and activities through association membership and activities during the AAGP Annual Meeting. This includes structured mentorship programs and tools for medical students and residents to make informed choices about their medical careers. Medical students in an LCME- or COCA-accredited medical school and general psychiatry residents in PGY 1-4 in an ACGME- or AOA-accredited training program in the U.S. or a Canadian accredited residency program may apply for general scholarships. Psychiatry residents in PGY-1, 2, or 3 may apply for the honors scholarships. Learn more and apply online: www.AAGPonline.org/scholars.

Donations needed by Sept. 30. Donations received by Sept. 30 will be used for the 2014 program. Donations allow trainees to attend the AAGP Annual Meeting and benefit from special programming, including a mentorship program; donations cover travel, housing, and meal expenses for the trainees. Please support this valuable program. Learn more and donate: www.AAGPonline.org/donatescholars.

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House committee passes legislation to advance Medicare payment reform
On July 31, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved bipartisan legislation addressing Medicare payment reform, fueling some progress in the long-debated attempts by Congress to fix what many in the health care and mental health fields consider a "flawed" payment model. The committee voted 51-0 to approve the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act (H.R. 2810), bipartisan legislation that would permanently fix the Medicare payment model that is used to reimburse physicians. Under the legislation, physicians in the fee-for-service system would receive a 0.5 percent annual payment increase for the first five years. Then, beginning in 2019, physician payments would be adjusted up or down depending on how well their services met new quality guidelines.

"The July 31 vote is an important milestone, but we are all resolved to achieve reform in a fiscally responsible manner," said Representative Fred Upton, R-Mich., in a statement. "Despite our significant progress, we will not be satisfied until the ink is dry on the president's signature."

The repeal of the flawed sustainable growth rate formula would remove the threat of a 25 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements due to years of postponed cuts piling on top of one another. Every year, the SGR formula has required an ever-increasing level of cuts, and every year Congress has enacted a patch or fix to postpone the cut.

Other congressional committees, in addition to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, have jurisdiction over Medicare but have not released any bills as yet. The Senate Finance Committee is holding discussions on how to proceed with the SGR but they currently do not have any legislation. The House Ways and Means Committee, which also has jurisdiction over Medicare, could consider the bill approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee and could approve it or amend it.

The Energy and Commerce Committee's approval of H.R. 2810 signals that there is more progress now regarding payment reform than there has been in recent years.

AAGP is continuing to work with other physician organizations to reform the Medicare payment system on a permanent basis and is providing feedback to congressional committees and others. There needs to be a permanent solution to this problem in order to preserve Medicare beneficiaries' access to care and to provide for fair reimbursement for all practitioners under the Medicare system.

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Do you have research to share?
AAGP
Consider submitting your research as a poster for the AAGP 2014 Annual Meeting in March in Orlando, Florida. Posters are self-explanatory visual presentations of research work.

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President's Column: You and AAGP
By David C. Steffens, MD, MHS
It is a truism that the strength of any organization lies in the individual strengths, talents and involvement of its people. AAGP is a strong organization because its members are passionate about our field and are willing to devote time to advancing our clinical, research and educational missions.

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Alzheimer's research receives nitro boost
By Denise A. Valenti
"Nitro" compounds are often highly explosive, with the nitro group being one of the more common explosophores used throughout the world. However, a very different application of nitro — NitroMemantine — is being discussed in the medical world as a treatment on the horizon for Alzheimer's disease.

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Patrick Kennedy to launch mental health initiative
Former Representative Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., is bringing his family legacy and experience in Congress to a new mental health initiative. The Kennedy Forum is an effort to bring mental health workers and advocates together to improve treatments for mental disorders, addictions, and intellectual disabilities. A longtime mental health advocate, Patrick Kennedy on July 24 said that The Kennedy Forum would hold a gala at the JFK Library on Oc. 23 and a conference in Boston the following day bringing together the mental health community. Kennedy said that he hopes the effort will help remove the stigma surrounding mental illness. Kennedy's uncle, President John F. Kennedy, signed legislation 50 years ago that changed the way those with mental illnesses and disabilities were cared for.

Patrick Kennedy was a featured speaker at AAGP's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in March 2012 and has worked closely with AAGP members and staff for many years. AAGP will monitor all activities and events surrounding The Kennedy Forum.

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SAMHSA announces new toolkit for community mental health
In early August, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced a new toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health. The toolkit will help communities and individuals start a conversation about mental health and help identify innovative and creative new steps to address the mental health needs across the country. The toolkit provides data and other facts helpful in creating conversations about mental health that break down misperceptions, and promote recovery. With three parts — an information brief, a discussion guide, and a planning guide — the toolkit discusses early identification, access to treatment crisis response, and recovery supports. To download a copy of the toolkit, visit http://1.usa.gov/16ezFzF.
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Applications for Alzheimer's disease research funding due Oct. 11
Grant proposals to Alzheimer's Disease Research, a program of BrightFocus Foundation, for 2014 awards are due on Oct. 11. BrightFocus provides research funds for U.S. domestic as well as international researchers pursuing pioneering research leading to a greater understanding of Alzheimer's disease. The maximum award value of the ADR Standard Award is US$250,000, payable over three years. Interested post doctoral researchers should apply for the ADR Research Fellowship, a two year award with a maximum value of US$100,000. Information and instructions for applying online is available at www.brightfocus.org/research/apply/main.html.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


Report: Huge shortage of caregivers looms for baby boomers
The Washington Post
Americans should expect an enormous shortage in caregivers for older people in the coming decades, with a dearth of friends and family members available to care for the baby-boom generation as it ages, according to a report recently released by AARP.
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Genetic biomaker helps detect Lewy body dementia
Science World Report
A recent study shows that genetic biomarkers can help detect Lewy body dementia, a disease that can often be confused with Alzheimer's, according to researchers from the Germans Trias i Pujol Health Sciences Research Institute and the Universitate Autonoma de Barcelona. According to background information from the study, results show that the biomarker is found in 20 percent of cases and subgroups of the pathology.
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Copper may play key role in Alzheimer's disease
Los Angeles Times
New research finds that copper in amounts readily found in our drinking water, the foods we eat and the vitamin supplements we take likely plays a key role in initiating and fueling the abnormal protein build-up and brain inflammation that are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
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Research shows healthy diet may slow cognitive decline
By Denise A. Valenti
The Alzheimer's Association is reporting that an estimated 5.2 million Americans have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in 2013. At the recent Alzheimer's Association International Conference, researchers from all over the world gathered to present and discuss the latest findings of causation, diagnosis and treatments surrounding the topic of Alzheimer's disease and dementias. What was notable in this year's conference was the research supporting the contributions of healthy lifestyles and diet to lower rates of cognitive decline.
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The dementia rate may be falling — and what it means
Forbes
Two major new studies have turned the popular perception of dementia on its head. For years, we’ve heard that Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are on the rise — a prediction that strikes fear in the hearts of both the public and policymakers. But these new reports conclude that dementia rates may be falling, and suggest that some forms of the disease may be preventable.
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Biomarker linked to Alzheimer's disease
The Huffington Post
Currently, there's no known way to prevent Alzheimer's disease, which affects more than 5 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. But a new study has identified what may be the earliest known biomarker associated with the risk of developing Alzheimer's. Indeed, this potential biomarker appears to be present in cerebral spinal fluid at least a decade before signs of Alzheimer's first appear.
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