Newscast Media WASHINGTON—On Wednesday, the World Health Organization and Britain, the current holders of the G8 presidency, advocated a combined global attempt to battle dementia, saying that extra spending and coordinated global research seeking to minimize duplication – could accelerate progress towards finding effective treatments.
“No one here is in any doubt about the scale of the dementia crisis. A new case every four seconds, a global cost of $600 billion (440 billion euros) and that is to say nothing of the human cost,” British Prime Minister David Cameron told the meeting in London.
An estimated 44 million people currently suffer from some form of dementia, with Alzheimer’s the most common form. Amid an aging global population this figure is expected to rise sharply in the coming decades. The Alzheimer’s Disease International federation warned in a December 5 report that the figures could reach 135 million by 2050.
Dementia cannot currently be cured, but on Wednesday G8 members issued a joint statement saying they had agreed to “significantly” increase research funding and encourage open access to various studies’ findings to speed up the process.
“The amount going into research is too little,” British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told reporters. “We would like a cure to be available by 2025. It’s a big, big ambition to have. If we don’t aim for the stars, we won’t land on the moon.”
Source: Deutsche Welle
by Brittany SmithNewscast Media, NEW YORK—The U.N. officially observed World Down Syndrome Day for the first time on Wednesday – the seventh anniversary of the day designated to promote awareness and understanding, and seek international support for people with Down syndrome.
The annual observance takes place on the 21st of March each year because the date (21/3) represents the 3 copies of chromosome 21, which is unique to people with Down syndrome. Those with the genetic condition have some degree of learning disability, but many will go on to lead full and semi-independent lives. There is an estimated 7 million people who have Down syndrome worldwide.
The Pennsylvania Family Institute says that “upwards of 90 percent of Down syndrome children diagnosed prenatally never see the light of day; and their parents never see the special light of their children’s lives.”
There is an alarming rate of babies aborted after the parents find out through prenatal testing that the child will have a genetic disorder.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has attacked President Barack Obama’s health care plan that includes free prenatal screenings, saying that it encourages abortions and will seriously decrease the ranks of the disabled in our society.
Prenatal screenings have also caused a rise in “wrongful birth” suits. A Portland couple was recently awarded $2.9 million because they say they would have aborted their little girl had they known she had Down syndrome and now needed money to pay for the costs of raising her.
Newscast Media — Thursday July 1, is the beginning of l Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and officially honors NAMI national spokesperson Bebe Moore Campbell, one of the leading Black writers of the 20th century.
NAMI Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick said, “Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is a time for education, support and advocacy.” Fitzpatrick went on further by saying, “One in four Americans experience mental health problems in any given year. Diverse communities are no exception.”
The Surgeon General has warned that minorities
* are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for mental illness.
* have less availability and access to mental health services.
* often receive poorer quality health care.
* are underrepresented in mental health research.
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness, and has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy. http://newscastmedia.com/nami.htm