To quote Jennifer Lopez ,“C’mon people, let’s get loud!” Hang up your lab coat, leave your pad folios and ipads behind, and dust off your protest sign, it’s time to make some noise for medical research!
you are not alone! Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is a tool that can have a significant effect on those receiving health care, particularly older Americans. When used correctly, CER can help ensure that seniors facing illnesses receive the best care for their condition. However, many open questions remain around this critical issue.
Petitions are now in vogue and far be it for us to miss the bandwagon, especially when the White House website is hosting petitions on everything from letting Texas secede to deporting CNN's Piers Morgan. And now, a particularly meaningful petition to those of us at the Alliance for Aging Research has recently cropped up. This Alzheimer's petition holds the White House’s and Congress’ feet to the fire on the goals of the first national Alzheimer’s plan—and I am asking you to sign it.
Millions of people live with glaucoma without knowing that they have the disease. There are many types of glaucoma, with most associated with elevated eye pressure that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss. That vision loss can usually be prevented with early detection and proper treatment/management. Unfortunately, the disease can progress silently without any noticeable symptoms, and for someone who doesn’t know they have it, they may end up with vision loss before they are ever diagnosed. And once the damage is done, it’s irreversible.
It sounds simple: to fix American health care we just need to spend less on ineffective treatments and invest more in high quality medical care. And like solutions that sound simple, getting this balance right can be devilishly difficult.
Groups like the Alliance for Aging Research and the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) have long been calling attention to the looming crisis that we face with extreme current and projected shortages in our geriatric workforce. According to recent data from AGS there are currently only 7,029 certified geriatricians in the U.S. —half of what we currently need—and those numbers are in steep decline. Just imagine what these numbers will look like when our 65 and older population grows from 40.3 million now to 72.1 million in 2030.
We are very excited at the Alliance for Aging Research to announce that Linda Fried, MD, MPH, Dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, is the recipient of this year’s MetLife Foundation Silver Scholar Award. Dr. Fried is a well-respected and well-known scholar and was selected in honor of her innovative work contributing pragmatic solutions to address the rising cost of health care associated with the aging of our nation, preventive strategies aimed at keeping aging populations healthier longer, and thought leadership on the positive contributions that greater longevity brings to society.
Last Wednesday the Alliance for Aging Research released the 7th volume of The Silver Book series. This latest volume focuses on vision loss and was released in partnership with the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) during their Decade of Vision: 2010-2020. This is the second vision loss volume and includes updated data on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma—which along with cataract are the eye diseases that disproportionately impact older Americans. This new volume also highlights the exciting changes and discoveries in vision research and treatment from the past five years.