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Kathy Cronkite to speak at AAGP 2014 Annual Meeting
AAGP
Author and mental health advocate Kathy Cronkite will speak about depression and society's response to it during the March 16 plenary session of AAGP's Annual Meeting to be held in Orlando, Fla. As someone who has dealt with clinical depression, Cronkite is a strong advocate for the need to recognize it as a medical illness in order to fight stigma and demand quality care. For her 1995 book, On the Edge of Darkness: Conversations About Conquering Depression, Cronkite interviewed celebrities who suffered from depression, including Mike Wallace, Joan Rivers, Dick Clark, Kitty Dukakis, Rod Steiger, and William Styron, along with well-known researchers of mental illness.

As the daughter of famed television newscaster Walter Cronkite, Kathy Cronkite drew on her experience to write her first book, On the Edge of the Spotlight: Celebrities’ Children Speak Out About Their Lives. For that project, she interviewed the children of celebrities to explore the challenges and privileges unique to them.

Register by Nov. 15 to be entered in prize drawing. Register now to be entered in a prize drawing. Three winners will receive free registration for AAGP's 2015 Annual Meeting to be held in New Orleans. Learn more and register: www.AAGPmeeting.org.
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AAGP is seeking the next AJGP editor-in-chief
AAGP
The AAGP is seeking a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist to serve as editor-in-chief of the monthly journal The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The editor, in collaboration with associate editors and the Editorial Board, establishes editorial policies, develops ideas for new features, and guides the Journal in new directions. The editor directs the Journal's web-based peer-review process, assigning reviewers to submitted manuscripts and making disposition decisions. This part-time, compensated position is served under a five-year contract and does not require relocation. The position will involve a transition period coordinated with current Editor-in-Chief Dilip V. Jeste, MD, beginning in January 2015, and the full position will commence in January 2016. Learn more: www.aagponline.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=editorajgp&category=Publications.
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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to develop recommendations on screening for cognitive impairment
AAGP
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is currently working on a draft recommendation statement on screening for cognitive impairment in older adults. The USPSTF's final evidence report on this topic (www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf14/dementia/dementart.htm) concluded that brief instruments to screen for cognitive impairment can adequately detect dementia, but there is no empirical evidence that screening improves decision making. The report stated that it is unclear whether interventions for patients or their caregivers have a clinically significant effect in persons with earlier detected cognitive impairment.

From this report, the USPSTF will draft recommendations for screening for cognitive impairment in older adults; these recommendations will be available on its website for public comment, at which time, AAGP will submit comments.

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  PRODUCT SHOWCASES
Behavior Imaging Solutions

Behavior Imaging Solutions, formerly Caring Technologies Inc, develops solutions to facilitate the observational, analytical and collaborative needs of Behavioral Healthcare and Special Education professionals.
Credible Behavioral Healthcare Software

Credible Behavioral Health Enterprise Software provides secure, proven, easy to use software for clinic, community, residential, and mobile care providers across the United States. Credible's commitment to innovation, ease of use and optimization runs throughout our software.
The Community Health Facilities Fund
The Community Health Facilities Fund assists non-profit, community-based behavioral care providers in accessing capital through low-cost, fixed-rate loans. The mission of the organization is to assist nonprofit, behavioral healthcare organizations obtain access to capital either through the funding of loans directly to organizations.


NIH awards $45 million for Alzheimer's research on prevention,
novel drug targets

The National Institutes of Health announced that approximately $45 million in new funding will allow researchers to test promising drugs aimed at preventing Alzheimer's and identify and validate biological targets for novel therapies. The initiative will support innovative new studies as part of an intensified national effort to find effective interventions for this devastating degenerative brain disease. Of the funding, $40 million is from an allocation from the NIH Office of the Director, with additional funding from the National Institute on Aging, the lead Institute within NIH for Alzheimer's research.

The clinical trials funded investigate possible ways to stop the progression of the disease. The translational research study awards are focused on identifying, characterizing and validating novel therapeutic targets. NIH funding supports the following:
  • The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit Trial, Dr. Randall Bateman, Washington University, St. Louis, and co-investigators
  • The Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative APOE4 Trial, Drs. Eric Reiman and Pierre Tariot, Banner Alzheimer's Institute, Phoenix, and co-investigators
  • Allopregnanolone Regenerative Therapeutic for MCI/Alzheimer's: Dose Finding Phase 1, Drs. Roberta Brinton and Lon Schneider, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Stimulating the Innate Immune System to Prevent Alzheimer's, Dr. Ted Ashburn, Sanofi Aventis, Cambridge, Mass., in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • Pathway Discovery, Validation and Compound Identification for Alzheimer's Disease, Drs. Philip De Jager, of the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Broad Institute, Harvard University, Boston, and David Bennett, of Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
  • Integrative Biology Approach to Complexity of Alzheimer’s Disease, Dr. Eric Schadt of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, and a team of investigators
  • A Systems Approach to Targeting Innate Immunity in Alzheimer's, Dr. Todd Golde, University of Florida, Gainesville, and colleagues
Learn more: www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2013/nia-18.htm.

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FDA approves second brain imaging drug to help identify Alzheimer's disease, dementia
In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Vizamyl (flutemetamol F 18 injection), a radioactive diagnostic drug for use with positron emission tomography imaging of the brain in adults being evaluated for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Vizamyl works by attaching to beta amyloid and producing a PET image of the brain that is used to evaluate the presence of beta amyloid. A negative Vizamyl scan means that there is little or no beta amyloid accumulation in the brain and the cause of the dementia is probably not due to AD. A positive scan means that there is probably a moderate or greater amount of amyloid in the brain, but it does not establish a diagnosis of AD or other dementia. Vizamyl does not replace other diagnostic tests used in the evaluation of AD and dementia.

Vizamyl is the second diagnostic drug available for visualizing beta amyloid on a PET scan of the brain. In 2012, FDA approved Amyvid (Florbetapir F 18 injection) to help evaluate adults for AD and other causes of cognitive decline. Learn more: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm372261.htm.

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Federal employees back to work as government shutdown ends
AAGP
On Oct. 16, negotiators in the Senate and House of Representatives reached a deal to end the partial government shutdown, which began on Oct. 1. The agreement came about amid last minute negotiations not only to reopen the federal government but also to raise the debt ceiling, which allows the U.S. government to pay its bills beyond Oct. 17. Federal workers will receive back pay for the time during which they were furloughed. Congress had previously debated H.J.Res. 59, a continuing resolution that would have funded the government through Dec. 15. The House-passed versions of that resolution included provisions to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare," while the Senate refused to approve any resolutions containing such provisions. Failure to reach agreement on that CR by Oct. 1 led to the partial government shutdown.

The Continuing Appropriations Act (Public Law 113-46) extends Fiscal Year 2013 funding levels through Jan. 15. The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 81-18, while the House approved the measure, 285-144. President Barack Obama then signed the bill into law. The bill provides $986 billion in discretionary funding, which reflects the across-the-board spending cuts imposed in the Fiscal Year 2013 Omnibus Spending Bill (Public Law 113-6) and by the Budget Control Act (Public Law 112-175), also known as sequestration. Under the bill, Obamacare remains intact. However, the bill requires income verification for individuals in the state health insurance exchanges who apply for premium tax credits and cost sharing.

AAGP will continue to monitor all funding measures impacting health care programs and will advise its members of any challenges that might arise.

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Delayed Physician Fee Schedule final rule to be published in late November
AAGP
On Oct. 25, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the final rule of the 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule will be delayed as a result of the shutdown of the federal government earlier in October. The final rule was scheduled to be published on Nov. 1; however, CMS has delayed its release until Nov. 27. The final rule, which will include a reduction in Medicare payments to physicians and other health care providers, unless averted by Congress, will be effective on Jan. 1. AAGP will provide updates on this issue.
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Biden and Sebelius discuss mental health issues at Kennedy Forum
Speaking at an Oct. 23 event to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's signing of the Community Mental Health Act, Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hailed recent mental health policy advances. Biden highlighted that current research on the human brain will result in important breakthroughs and innovative treatments for those struggling with mental disorders, including veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He also referenced provisions in the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") that increase access to mental health care.

Sebelius spoke to the benefits of the 2008 mental health parity law, but underscored how much work remains in removing the stigma associated with mental disorders. Sebelius had hoped to announce the release of the mental health parity rule this week at the forum, but the federal government shutdown earlier this month pushed back the schedule. The rule is currently undergoing a final interagency review at the Office of Management and Budget, which is the last stage before a regulation is issued.

The Oct. 23 Kennedy Forum was hosted by former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., who launched the new mental health initiative in July to bring together mental health workers and advocates to improve treatments for mental illness, addictions and intellectual disabilities, and to fight public perceptions associated with these challenges.

Read more about the event: www.politico.com/story/2013/10/joe-biden-new-frontier-for-mental-health-98779.html?hp=r20.

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Advanced Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health:
Applications due Nov. 15

Advanced Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health is recruiting its next cohort of scholars. ARI is a national NIMH-funded (R25) career development program that provides mentoring and consultation to early stage researchers with the aim of helping them successfully transition to independent investigators. Please see the website for information about the program, application process, and eligibility criteria: https://www.mentalhealthtrainingnetwork.org/institutes/ari/home. Applications are due Nov. 15.
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Advanced Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health: Applications due Nov. 15
Advanced Research Institute
Advanced Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health is recruiting its next cohort of scholars. ARI is a national NIMH-funded (R25) career development program that provides mentoring and consultation to early stage researchers.

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FDA issues final decision on beta amyloid positron emission tomography
AAGP
Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a decision memo to state that the evidence is insufficient to conclude that the use of positron emission tomography amyloid-beta imaging is reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury for Medicare beneficiaries with dementia or neurodegenerative disease.

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Research: High belly fat leads to dementia
Science World Report
A research reveals that people with greater abdominal fat are more prone to dementia. Neurological scientists at the Rush University Medical Center along with the National Institutes of Health carried out the research.

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NIH Loan Repayment Program: Applications due Dec. 2
The National Institutes of Health's Loan Repayment Programs is accepting applications for 2014 loan repayment awards. The current cycle has been extended through Dec. 2. The LRPs repay the outstanding student loans of researchers who are or will be conducting nonprofit biomedical or behavioral research. To learn more and apply, visit https://www.lrp.nih.gov/apply_here/index.aspx.
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Shorter sleep duration and Alzheimer's disease
A recent study published in JAMA Neurology (http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1757019) indicates that among community-dwelling older adults, reports of shorter sleep duration and poorer sleep quality are associated with greater build-up in the brain of beta-amyloid (Aβ), the protein associated with development of Alzheimer's disease. The study was conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the National Institute on Aging, including AAGP member Adam P. Spira, PhD, who is co-chair of the 2014 AAGP Neuroscience Teaching Day.
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AMDA guideline on dementia in LTC
The American Medical Directors Association released an updated version of its clinical guideline, Dementia in the Long Term Care Setting, which is available on the National Guideline Clearinghouse website, www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?f=rss&id=45525&osrc=12.
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Alzheimer's disease globally
On Dec. 11 in London, the United Kingdom will host the first-ever global dementia summit during the G8 Summit, a forum for the governments of eight of the world's largest national economies. The dementia summit will address topics ranging from how to capitalize on existing global dementia knowledge and the barriers to international collaboration on research, to the roles of business and industry in improving quality of life for people with dementia across the globe. Learn more: http://dementiachallenge.dh.gov.uk/category/g8-dementia-summit/.

The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease and other industry and advocacy leaders are working to raise awareness around the worldwide economic health implications these diseases will impose unless a unified global approach exists to find a means of prevention and ultimately a cure. Learn more: www.ceoalzheimersinitiative.org.

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IOM workshop report on financing long-term services and supports for individuals with disabilities and older adults
At least 11 million adults with disabilities, limitations, and functional impairments in the United States receive long-term services and supports — such as assistance with eating, bathing, and dressing — in order to live independently. With the projected aging of the U.S. population, the number of individuals needing long-term services and supports is expected to increase substantially. Given the magnitude of the challenges posed by the financing of long-term services and supports, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council held a workshop to foster dialogue and confront issues of mutual interest and concern. Read the workshop summary: http://iom.edu/Reports/2013/Financing-Long-Term-Services-and-Supports-for-Individuals-with-Disabilities-and-Older-Adults.aspx.
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IOM workshop report on elder abuse and its prevention
Data suggests that one in 10 older adults in the United States experience physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Elder abuse violates older adults' fundamental rights to be safe and free from violence. The IOM Forum on Global Violence Prevention held a workshop on elder abuse and its prevention to shed light on this underappreciated and often overlooked form of violence. Read the workshop summary: http://iom.edu/Reports/2013/Elder-Abuse-and-Its-Prevention?utm_medium=etmail&utm_source=Institute%20of%20Medicine&utm_campaign=10.18.13+New+Report+-+Elder+Abuse&utm_content=&utm_term.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


11 new gene variants linked to Alzheimer's disease
CBS News
In the largest genetic analysis of Alzheimer's ever completed, scientists have discovered 11 new genes that may be tied to the late-onset form of the dementia disease. Scientists scanned the brains of 74,076 older volunteers with Alzheimer's and others who did not have the disease in 15 countries to come up with their findings. The study was published in Nature Genetics on Oct. 27.
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Family caregivers live longer than their peers
Reuters
Caring for a disabled family member can be overwhelmingly hard. But caregivers may live longer than those who don't bear such responsibilities, new research suggests.
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Sex among dementia patients spurs call for policies
Bloomberg
An association of professionals who work at hundreds of elderly-care facilities in the U.S. is calling on the homes to reconsider their policies — or, in most cases, lack of policies — on geriatric sex.
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Daily walk cuts dementia risk, studies show
Orlando Sentinel
Everyone knows walking is good exercise, but it has another benefit: a daily 20-minute walk can also cut the risk of dementia by 40 percent, studies show. Taking those findings a step further, neurologists at Jacksonville's Mayo Clinic are studying whether getting patients immobilized by disease to walk can also help stave off mental decline.
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