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Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Task Force Releases Dementia Screening Recommendation 


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) this week issued its final recommendation on universal screening for dementia in people ages 65 and older with no signs or symptoms of cognitive impairment. 


It found adequate evidence that some screening tools have sufficiently high sensitivity and specificity to be clinically useful in identifying dementia, but concluded that there is inadequate direct evidence on the benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment and of non-pharmacologic interventions.


The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) released a statement expressing its disappointment with the decision and providing proof points that support the benefits of early detection and intervention.


In the statement, Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA's chief executive officer, said, in part: "Despite the lack of empirical evidence, the AFA believes that there are meaningful benefits to broader adoption of such screenings, and we are confident that further studies will validate that." Read the full statement here.

Chorus Takes Fresh Approach to Dementia Care


Among the various therapy programs that researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center are studying for people with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, one pilot program, in particular, stands out as a fresh and exciting possibility.


"The Unforgettables" is a chorus comprised of individuals with dementia and their family members. The chorus rehearses once a week for 13 weeks with professional conductors and then performs a 20-song concert.


Mary Mittelman, Dr.P.H., director of the Psychosocial Research and Support Program at NYU Langone's Comprehensive Center on Brain Aging, founded the program as a way to help improve quality of life and patient-caregiver relationships.


The Unforgettables' next performance--its 9th choral concert--is April 5, from 3-4 p.m., in New York City. Click here for ticket information.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Releases Strategic Plan 


Like it does every four years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently updated its strategic plan to address the evolving issues facing Americans--including people with Alzheimer's disease and their family caregivers.


For FY'2014-2018, HHS' Strategic Plan includes several action steps impacting the dementia population. Among them: improving the delivery of community living services by strengthening the reach and effectiveness of state systems; increasing the quality and scope of existing systems that serve people with Alzheimer's disease and their families; and identifying how to prevent 
Alzheimer's disease.
News to Use 
  • Public Comments Welcome on Neuroscience Research - The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues is requesting public comment on the ethical considerations of neuroscience research and the application of neuroscience research findings. These comments will be used to help the commission develop a set of core ethical standards related to research. Submit comments here by April 1.
  • 'Now What?' Teleconference on Life After Caregiving - The next "Care Connection," AFA's free monthly teleconference for family and professional caregivers, will be held April 10, from 1-2 p.m. EDT.  Lisa Athan, executive director and founder of Grief Speaks, Springfield, N.J., will discuss how caregivers can transition back to a new routine after a loved one has passed. To participate, call 877-594-8353 and use guest identification number: 46692951#.
  • The Big Reveal: Organizations That Care for Caregivers - The American Society on Aging (ASA) this week published a list of 25 organizations--including AFA--that provide care and support services to caregivers of older Americans. 
News Updates
  • Protein May Signal Who Will Get Alzheimer's Disease - Scientists have identified a protein called REST as a possible link to Alzheimer's disease. The protein, first active in developing fetuses, normally re-emerges as people age and protects brain cells from toxins, including the hallmark plaques of Alzheimer's disease. However, the researchers found that upon autopsy, people who had cognitive decline had significantly lower levels of REST in major brain regions.  Read more...

  • High Fat Diet in Pregnant Mice Linked to Alzheimer's Disease - Mice whose mothers consumed a diet high in fat while pregnant were more likely to have vascular changes in their brains in later life, according to a new study. In addition, the blood vessels in their brains were less effective in removing amyloid protein-the hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. Read more...

March 27, 2014 
Volume 7 Issue 8

Mobile Art Program and Mike's Place

Austin, Texas

Mike's Place attendee, Alice, in "Shoeland."










Great things happen when neighbors team up! The Mobile Art Program (MAP) and Mike's Place: A Program of Meals on Wheels and More, two of AFA's Austin Texas-based member organizations, have collaborated to provide art activities to individuals with dementia as well as respite to their caregivers.


Mike's Place has a different theme each week at its twice-weekly day program for people with dementia, and MAP tailors art projects to that theme. 


Recent activities have included "make your own bookmarks," which was timed to back to school; and painting in the style of Andy Warhol's shoe series.  




David Marion

Mount Airy, N.C.


David Marion, of Mount Airy, N.C., is putting his creativity to the test in his latest endeavor to help the cause. He began raising awareness of Alzheimer's disease after his grandfather Jack Marion was diagnosed with the illness.  


For his new venture, "Mile of Memories," Marion is selling paper chain links for $1 each and inviting each purchaser to write a memory on the paper. With them, he will create a mile-long paper chain. He estimates about 6,500 links will complete the chain and hopes to unveil the "Mile of Miracles" chain this year near his grandfather's assisted living residence.


Marion began racing for the cause in 2011. "For me, it was an opportunity to do something I love, while giving back to a worthwhile cause," he said.


In 2013, Marion raised $1,200 for AFA by competing in a variety of 5K races, triathlons and other events. 

AFA Hits the Town in Nashville

May 1: "For the Love of George" Cocktail Party & Concert

Nashville, Tenn.


Join AFA at Sambuca in Nashville, Tenn., for a night of awareness and tribute in honor of the millions of individuals with Alzheimer's disease, their families and caregivers. The event includes an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction, and a performance by the band, Honor By August.  


For information about tickets and sponsorships, call 866-232-8484 or click here


September 12: "5 Boroughs Concepts in Care" Conference

New York, N.Y.


For information about sponsorships or exhibiting, call 866-232-8484 or click here


November 18: National Memory Screening Day

Click here to register as a site.



Click here to learn the different ways you can give to AFA.


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Alzheimer's Foundation of America
Our mission is to provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families through member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life. 
 Visit us at www.alzfdn.org or call us toll-free at 866-232-8484.

If you have a question or concern that you would like to discuss with a social worker, write info@alzfdn.org or call (toll-free) 866-232-8484.