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New MIT board member elected
AAGP
AAGP is delighted that Laura Marrone, MD has been elected to serve as the new MIT Board Member for 2014-2015. Laura is currently a Geriatric Psychiatry Fellow at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She completed her undergraduate training at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California where she majored in Biology and graduated Cum Laude. She obtained her M.D. and Adult Psychiatry training at UCSD.

Throughout her training she has held various leadership positions and been recognized for her work. She has been an active member of the San Diego Psychiatric Society where last year she served as MIT Representative and currently holds the position of Membership Co-Chair. She served as Outpatient Clinic Chief Resident this past year and was awarded Overall Outstanding Resident Clinician, as voted by her peers in all residency classes. This year she was recognized by the American College of Psychiatry as a Laughlin Fellow.

She first attended the annual AAGP conference when she was an intern and has remained involved with the organization since then. She says that she "was immediately struck by AAGP's warm, welcoming culture and passionate enthusiasm. I knew with confidence that I had found my professional home." In 2013, she was a GMHF Honors Scholar, and presented her research on Wisdom in women with hospice diagnoses during the Honors Scholar Alumni Session. Please us in congratulating Laura who will assume the MIT Board Member position on Oct. 1.
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Scholars Program
As you are keenly aware, there are simply not enough Geriatric Psychiatrists to keep pace with the increasing number of Geriatric patients with mental health care needs in the United States. In order to continue to inspire interest in our field, the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation created the Scholars Program, a member supported program for medical students and Psychiatry residents interested in the field of Geriatric Psychiatry. Our program provides mentorship and educational development for trainees during our annual meeting through seminars, small groups and panels populated by leaders in our field. The AAGP has shown that facilitating interactions in a structured manner between trainees and seasoned members in the field of geriatric psychiatry results in almost 75 percent of those trainee participants pursuing specialized geriatric fellowships.

We are reaching out to you for two reasons:
  1. Please encourage all interested medical students and residents with whom you have contact to apply for this prestigious scholarship.
  2. Please consider donating to the Scholars Program to support the future of our field.
The application for trainees is located at www.AAGPonline.org/scholars. Applications are due Oct. 1, 2014.

Please access the following link if you would like to donate to the Scholars Fund: www.aagponline.org/donateScholars. Donations for the 2015 program year are due Sept. 30.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Kirsten Wilkins MD Michelle Conroy, MD
Chair, Scholars Program Vice Chair, Scholars Program

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IN THE NEWS


Could losing your sense of smell predict Alzheimer's?
By Dorothy L. Tengler
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain's neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills and behavioral changes. It is the most common cause of dementia or loss of intellectual function among people aged 65 and older. With Alzheimer's disease growing fast among the world's aging population, researchers are increasingly focused on searching for new ways to detect and treat the brain-killing disease in its earliest stages. And scientists may have found a new warning sign — a decreased ability to identify odors.
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Why do more women get Alzheimer's? Research points to genetics, other factors
The Washington Post
Of the more than 5 million people in the United States who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the leading cause of dementia, two-thirds are women. Because advancing age is considered the biggest risk factor for the disease, researchers largely have attributed that disparity to women's longer life spans. The average life expectancy for women is 81 years, compared with 76 for men.
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Missing protein associated with early signs of dementia
Medical News Today
Researchers from the University of Warwick in the U.K. claim to have provided the first evidence that the absence of a particular protein — called the MK2/3 protein — is associated with early signs of dementia. In their study, the researchers explain how information in the brain is transferred using neurotransmitter chemicals that are released from one neuron, which then act on the receptors in the next neuron in the chain.
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THC may slow or halt progression of Alzheimer's disease
News Medical
Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows. Findings from the experiments, using a cellular model of Alzheimer's disease, were reported online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.
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Why do more women get Alzheimer's? Research points to genetics, other factors
The Washington Post
Of the more than 5 million people in the United States who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer', the leading cause of dementia, two-thirds are women. Because advancing age is considered the biggest risk factor for the disease, researchers largely have attributed that disparity to women's longer life spans.

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How to address dementia in the workplace
Inside Counsel
The growing occurrence of dementia is morphing from a healthcare issue into a workplace challenge. While an estimated 5 million Americans currently suffer from dementia, that number is expected to increase to at least 14 million by 2040.

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AAGP leader Stephen Bartels advocates for attention to older adults From SAMHSA
The New England Journal of Medicine
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.

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APOE, diagnostic accuracy of CSF biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease
Medical Xpress
Cerebral spinal fluid levels of β-amyloid 42(Aβ42) are associated with the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and (Aβ) accumulation in the brain independent of apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene makeup. With the emergence of biomarker dementia diagnostics, interest in CSF biomarkers associated with AD, including Aβ42 and tau proteins, is increasing. The APOE gene is the most prominent susceptibility gene for late-onset AD.
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Lilly backs lawsuit against CMS over its Alzheimer's diagnostic drug
The Wall Street Journal
Nearly a year ago, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services denied coverage for an Eli Lilly imaging agent to be used in diagnosing Alzheimer's. In reaching its decision, CMS cited a lack of evidence that the agent, called Amyvid, could improve health outcomes. As a result, CMS greatly narrowed the potential use of the agent, dealing Lilly a significant setback. Now, Lilly is fighting back. The drug maker is funding a lawsuit that was filed this morning against the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and CMS by three people who want to force the agency to overturn its decision.
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