Medicare Coverage Expanded For More Brain Scans To Detect Alzheimer’s
The goal of the expanded coverage is to detect a brain plaque associated with Alzheimer's disease, which is the target of new Alzheimer's drugs. Meanwhile, a neuroscientist whose studies are linked to an experimental Alzheimer's treatment has been faulted for errors in his research after an investigation.
Medicare To Cover More Brain Scans Related To Alzheimer’s Drugs
Medicare has officially expanded its coverage policy for brain scans that detect a brain plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the agency announced on Friday. Amyloid PET scans are important tools to help determine whether patients with mild cognitive impairment are good candidates for new Alzheimer’s drugs, including Eisai and Biogen’s drug Leqembi, which means there will likely be an increase in demand for the scans as uptake increases. (Cohrs, 10/13)
The New York Times:
Scientists Investigating Alzheimer’s Drug Faulted In Leaked Report
A neuroscientist whose studies undergird an experimental Alzheimer’s drug was “reckless” in his failure to keep or provide original data, an offense that “amounts to significant research misconduct,” an investigation by his university has concluded. The drug, simufilam, is made by Cassava Sciences, a pharmaceutical company based in Texas, and is in advanced clinical trials. The neuroscientist, Hoau-Yan Wang, a professor at the City College of New York, frequently collaborated with Lindsay H. Burns, the company’s chief scientist, on studies that outside experts and journals have called into question. (Mandavilli, 10/14)
This Protein May Protect Against Alzheimer's, Scientists Say
In the search for a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, researchers have zeroed in on a protein with protective effects. A new study reveals how cholesterol and inflammation in different types of human brain cells interact with a protein called ABCA7, which regulates how molecules pass through cell membranes. Reduced levels of ABCA7 in human brain cells may be a trigger for Alzheimer's, and the team thinks their new information could be used to develop treatments. (Dyer, 10/15)
Are Walking Difficulties An Early Sign Of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Research published on October 11 in the journal Current BiologyTrusted Sourcefinds that difficulty with navigation while walking could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. Researchers said that “impaired path integration,” which involves understanding distance and direction in order to sense your location, could be a sign of early Alzheimer’s disease (AD).” (Vogel, 10/13)
In news about Parkinson's disease —
The New York Times:
Wearables Track Parkinson’s Better Than Human Observation, Study Finds
An Oxford University researcher and her team showed that digital wearable devices can track the progression of Parkinson’s disease in an individual more effectively than human clinical observation can, according to a newly published paper. By tracking more than 100 metrics picked up by the devices, researchers were able to discern subtle changes in the movements of subjects with Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disease that afflicts 10 million people worldwide. (Richtel, 10/15)