Over the last 20 years, health-care research has made spectacular progress in understanding the causes of illnesses such as cancer, dementia, asthma, rheumatism, diabetes and heart disease, but most interest was put in to the chemical industry which laughed at the people who preferred to have their body treated in a natural way.
It is very good that the medical science is providing us with a far greater awareness of how the body functions and what makes us sick. But it is wrong that it only looks for drugs for the most common diseases, or those where most money can be captured. A difficult thing to accept for the medical industry is that some treatments may work for some people but not for others, for example in cases involving breast cancer and certain auto immune diseases.
Recent research into biomarkers is helping doctors to anticipate whether a particular individual is at risk from illnesses such as dementia and cancer.
Innovation minister Ingrid Lieten has announced a second call for health-care research that focuses on prevention and the needs of individual patients. She has set aside a new budget of €5 million following a previous call in 2012 for projects focusing on innovative methods for treating dementia and cancer.
Last month the G8 also thought it proper to take an interest in the problematic ageing population with the site effect of more people with memory problems.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) its executive director Marc Wortmann said:
“If we look into the future the numbers of elderly people will rise dramatically. It’s vital that the World Health Organization makes dementia a priority, so the world is ready to face this condition.”
In Britain, dementia is the most feared health condition among people aged over 55 and costs the economy 23 billion pounds ($37.6 billion) a year – more than cancer, stroke or heart disease combined.
The commitments to develop an international action plan for research, share information and data across the G8 countries to provide unprecedented collaboration, encourage open access to all publically-funded dementia research, the introduction of a new global envoy for dementia innovation, and the ambitious aim from the G8 to “find a cure or disease-altering therapy by 2025” all have the potential to improve how we prevent, treat and hopefully one day eradicate dementia and could be applauded.
With the talks we can see that the G8 has goodwill to look for the health of the citizens of this planet. Dementia wrecks many families and it breaks hearts.
(Monogenic diseases result from modifications in a single gene occurring
in all cells of the body. Though relatively rare, they affect millions
of people worldwide. Scientists currently estimate that over 10,000 of
human diseases are known to be monogenic. Pure genetic diseases are
caused by a single error in a single gene in the human DNA.) Mucoviscidosis or Cystic fibrosis (CF), cancer and heart disease bring enough complications to cause death and may also not be overlooked.
Today lots of people are less afraid of cancer than a few years ago. They trust that doctors are getting better and better at treating, and in some cases curing, cancer.
The prospect of a slow descent into dementia frightens people more than almost any other fate. Nobody wants to see himself or herself in a state where they do not have any control any more of the brain.
In the U.K. the review of the implementation of the Mental Health Act and the code of practice, the Mental Capacity Act, together with the work of the College of Social Work, will redefine and consolidate the important role that social workers play in delivering good quality integrated mental health responses and excellent practice in working with capacity.
Europe has to work for a better care fund and the work of the integration pioneers should provide enough opportunities to encompass the contribution of social workers in delivering integrated responses to people using social care and health services.
The governments should provide enough funds for the preventive work and for the specialist knowledge of social welfare policy and law. The fieldworkers their unique set of skills in understanding and working with people, and their specific set of professional values mean that social workers, more than ever, will be key in supporting individuals and families in meeting some of life’s biggest challenges in the even more challenging times ahead.
Naturally by facing an epidemic of dementia currently affecting 44 million people worldwide and set to more than treble to 135 million people by 2050, the leaders of the country could and perhaps should become nervous.
“Lack of funding means dementia research is falling behind other conditions,”
said Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society.
“The G8 is our once-in-a-generation chance to conquer this condition and we must see meaningful action after the talking is over.”
Every year brings more ‘new’ hope. As such the news of scientists demonstrating a revolutionary new method in mice that could cure a wide range of human diseases — from cystic fibrosis to cataracts to Alzheimer’s disease — that are caused by “misfolded” protein molecules, lets us hope for the best continuation of that research and in finding enough funds to get the pharmacy willing to develop the necessary drugs to help.
Please do find:
- Muco association + Muco hoopt
- Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide
- Cystic fibrosis: a worldwide analysis of CFTR mutations–correlation with incidence data and application to screening.
Although there have been numerous reports from around the world of mutations in the gene of chromosome 7 known as CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator), little attention has been given to integrating these mutant alleles into a global understanding of the population molecular genetics associated with cystic fibrosis (CF).
- Genes and human disease
- Sickle cell anemia
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Tay sachs disease
- Fragile X syndrome
- Huntington’s disease
- Half of Canadians with dementia wait too long for diagnosis, Alzheimer Society warns (globalnews.ca)
As many as 50 per cent of Canadians with dementia are not diagnosed early enough, losing valuable time when intervention can help these people with managing their daily lives, the Alzheimer Society of Canada is warning in a new campaign.January is Alzheimer Awareness Month. This year, the national organization is telling Canadians, doctors and caregivers to spot the signs of dementia in their family members and patients.
- Dementia needs more than good intentions (telegraph.co.uk)
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, lamented the wide variations in dementia diagnosis across the country. With the end of the five-year strategy in sight, many of the issues that it set out to address remain. We know how great a challenge this disease presents to future generations, yet it receives far less money than cancer research. More can also be done to encourage people in middle age to take basic preventative measures, such as regular exercise.
- G8 dementia summit: The real work begins now (theguardian.com)
The argument about whether you look for short or long term improvements is an exceptionally difficult one. You have to be mindful of the 800,000 people (in the UK alone) who are living with a form of dementia, many of whom will be in the advanced stages and are unlikely to benefit from any future medical miracles. For them, improving their immediate quality of life and supporting those who are caring for them is vitally important.
- Rethinking drug action: activating an ion channel to treat Cystic Fibrosis (michaelchimenti.wordpress.com)
In my first “Rethinking Drug Action” post, I described how researchers are seeking activators of PARK9, a protein that is mutated in Parkinson’s Disease. In a similar manner, Ivacaftor, a new drug for Cystic Fibrosis (CF), shifts the paradigm from treating CF symptoms to therapeutic treatment of the underlying cause of the disease: defects in the activity of the CFTR ion channel owning to genetic loss-of-function mutation.
More studies are needed to prove this mechanism, but it will be very interesting to see how this paradigm-shifting new drug works on the molecular level.
- New Drug Method to Cure Disease–from Cystic Fibrosis to Alzheimer’s (scienceworldreport.com)
it seems that misfolded proteins actually are misrouted within the cell and cease to function only because of this misrouting. Pharmacoperones can fix these misfolded proteins and make them functional again.
- Dementia replaces cancer as disease people fear most (itv.com)
First a broad observation: we spend about 100 times more on cancer research than we do on research into dementia. That seems simply a distortion. But will more money solve the problem? It’s estimated drug companies and governments have spent $40 billion trying to develop treatments for dementia. But successes have been few and far between.
Watch the experts from Cardiff University discuss the findings with ITV’s Science and Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty.
- Dementia epidemic: 135 million worldwide to have it by 2050 (cbsnews.com)
Fresh estimates from the advocacy group Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) showed a 17 percent increase in the number of people with the incurable mind-robbing condition compared with 2010, and warned that by 2050 more than 70 percent of dementia sufferers will be living in poorer countries.”It’s a global epidemic and it is only getting worse,” said ADI’s executive director Marc Wortmann.
- G8 Dementia Summit – Declaration (livingwithdementiablog.wordpress.com)
many of us plebeians have been fighting back from the day this illness surfaced in our families. I myself have been fighting for nearly a year, which is nothing compared to many of the people I adore and follow. Little recognition for the fight backstage? No?