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About CurationHealth

When it comes to your health, or the health of someone close to you, it can feel like there’s just too much information out there. At CurationHealth, we get it. We focus on finding relevant and quality news stories about the big health care issues. And we help you make sense of it all.

INSIGHTS hits its century today and, in taking our usual look back at the week’s top headlines, we reflect where it is relevant on how the world of Alzheimer’s has changed since we launched almost two years ago. And before kicking back for a summer break of our own, we offer some thoughts on where the big ideas are going to come from over the next couple of years.

The Alzheimer’s Association conference wrapped up in Toronto last week, with over 5,000 delegates gathering from around the world to hear news of research progress, share stories of best practice, and reflect on how much more needs doing on prevention and the pursuit of earlier diagnoses. Collaboration and community will be key words on all these fronts over the coming months, and it will be interesting to see what happens before the conference convenes again: next year, in London.

News this week is dominated by action at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto, for which press departments across the health care and pharma industries have been sharpening their pencils for some weeks now. We will provide a fuller account next week when the smoke has cleared, but readers will note the huge impact of this world-leading conference in most of the stories featured in this week’s INSIGHTS.

It can’t be just the big Alzheimer’s conference in Toronto later this month that is inspiring the growing number of good news stories. More than just the research developments, the new thinking on prevention, the growing interest in collaboration and the employment of Big Data analytics: it is the way all these stories are co-ordinating that suggests that the world of Alzheimer’s research is truly getting its act together – with the accent on the word together.

A mixture of common themes and innovative therapies dominate the news feeds this week, with the mainstays focusing on diagnosis. Why should it be as early as possible, and what can be done to plan for life afterwards. Among the innovations, special regard must go to work with artificial intelligence, virtual reality, vaccines and transdermal patches. We really are starting to throw everything at Alzheimer’s.

Innovative research and fresh thinking feature large in a wide range of inspiring stories this week, with news items on subjects ranging from marijuana to retinal scanning, speech recognition software to CT scanning – and that’s not scanning as a diagnostic but as a treatment tool. And for anyone still worrying over that old story about “catching” dementia from blood transfusions: the Karolinska Institute assures us that we can stop worrying.

Until news emerged from the annual meeting of the British Medical Association to the effect that doctors feel that dementia diagnosis without adequate support for patients is “pointless”, it looked like being a pretty positive week for news about Alzheimer’s. Questions need to be asked about who is there for whom when a person sits down with a doctor they need to trust. Can it be right that doctors, however well-meaning, can effectively withdraw a service if they cannot deliver the service they would prefer?

More is to come in next week’s INSIGHTS, but the Alzheimer’s conference that is currently underway in Washington DC is already producing dozens of good stories on advances in diagnostics and renewed hope for new drugs entering the pipeline.

Ahead of the year’s biggest conference for Alzheimer’s research, starting this coming weekend in Washington DC, we look at a story of how a Californian court room is poised to rule on a tussle over medical data: who owns it for the purposes of research and development? The consolidation and impact of Alzheimer’s research generally, not only in North America but globally, could feel the effects.

One of the most difficult issues in the detection and management of Alzheimer’s is how early to make a diagnosis. For a long time the difficulty lay in the uncertainty involved: how could we be sure? As science has evolved to enable a more certain diagnosis earlier, pressures on resources and costs have increased, tempting doctors back into uncertainty about raising expectations that may not be met. This question has huge implications for providers and professionals, but more widely for patients and the people who care for them.

Reflecting one of the biggest stories in the world of Alzheimer’s, we launch Insights with two of the most popular items over the past week in media from around the world: the challenge of anti-anxiety pills and why we need to be very careful about medications generally. We see also how a problem that was comprehensively explained last week in Europe may have been successfully addressed – at least in part – in the American state of Georgia.

What is the forecast for Alzheimer’s research? What are the challenges we face in converting research into results? It appears that the foundation for a successful future may well lie in the three Fs of facts, funding and focus.

While it may not be often that readers have come across the words gratitude and lymphatic system occurring in the same sentence, it appears that science has been hard at work on both these phenomena over recent weeks. And with any luck, we should be hearing a lot more of them over the coming months.