AAGP eNews
Jan. 28, 2014

Special events at AAGP's Annual Meeting in March
In addition to nearly 60 break-out sessions, the AAGP Annual Meeting will offer a number of special events, including three plenaries, two pre-conference events, poster sessions, and product theaters. The conference will start on Friday, March 14 with the popular Geriatric Psychiatry Review Course and the annual Neuroscience Teaching Day, which will focus on "Sleep and Circadian Rhythms in Late-Life Mental Health." At the opening plenary session that day, participants will hear from Incoming AAGP President Susan Schultz, MD, and meet the 2014 AAGP award winners. During Saturday's plenary, AMA's Jeremy Lazarus, MD, APA's Dilip Jeste, MD, and AAGP Past President Paul Kirwin, MD, will discuss violence and mental health. Writer and mental health advocate Kathy Cronkite will discuss the challenges of overcoming depression during Sunday's plenary session.

The AAGP Exhibit Hall will host a variety of vendors as well as the research posters on Saturday and Sunday, prize drawings, unique product theaters, receptions, lunch on Sunday, and new in 2014, a WiFi Lounge. Visit the Hall to learn, network, and relax with colleagues.


SGR negotiations continue, identifying offsets challenging

House-Senate negotiations to craft bipartisan legislation that will repeal and replace the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula continue on the staff level, as Congressional leaders hope to enact legislation before Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians are reduced on April 1.

Staff members from both chambers and both parties continue to meet to determine if it is possible to find common ground on ways to pay for the proposal. Lawmakers have said they intend for the SGR repeal-and-replace legislation to be fully "paid for," a cost of approximately $150 billion over ten years. Although there is bipartisan agreement that Congress should reform Medicare payment formula, there is no consensus on how to pay for the policy change. According to Congressional sources, if House Republicans insist on making changes to the Affordable Care Act, Senate leaders will identify budget offsets on their own. Another wrinkle in the negotiations is the departure of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., who was recently appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China. It is expected that a vote to confirm his nomination will occur in mid-February. Baucus has stated that he would like to see SGR reform efforts resolved prior to his resignation from the Senate. More

NIH, SAMHSA receive budget bump in new appropriations law

On Jan. 16, President Barack Obama signed into law a $1.1 trillion fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill that would fund government programs through September 2014, and largely spare most federal health programs and agencies from substantial cuts. The new FY 2014 funding law would give federal health programs and agencies a total appropriation of $156.8 billion, just $100 million below the FY 2013 level. Although the legislation does not include new appropriations for Affordable Care Act programs, the law increases funding for the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, community health centers and mental health programs. NIH would receive $29.934 billion, about $1 billion more than the FY 2013 level. The funding would allow the NIH to continue current research projects and begin approximately 385 additional research studies and trials, including a comprehensive study of the brain. The new law also includes funding increases for mental health treatment programs at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, boosting funding to $3.6 billion (a $144 million increase over FY 2013).More

Geriatric mental health loses a dedicated advocate: Arnold Snider

Arnold H. Snider, of New York, passed away Friday, Jan. 3 after a short but courageous battle with cancer. Mr. Snider, a pharmaceutical industry analyst and dedicated philanthropist, supported the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation’s outreach award for five years. Mr. Snider chose to name the award The GMHF Deirdre Johnston Award for Excellence and Innovation in Geriatric Mental Health Outreach Services in honor of Deirdre Johnston, MBChB, MRCPsych, in gratitude for the care she provided to his mother, Kate Mills Snider. Due to Mr. Snider's generosity, from 2009 to 2013 the Foundation was able to award $10,000 to a mental health outreach program for excellence and innovation in providing services to older adults in the community.

Mr. Snider was committed to a number of philanthropic endeavors. His expansive knowledge of the health care industry and drug development provided a foundation for his philanthropic efforts in a number of areas of medical and scientific research, including geriatric medicine, spinal cord injuries, and lupus. He and his wife, Katherine, endowed the Kate Mills Snider Geropsychiatry Outreach Program and Professorship Fund within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. They also established the Arnold and Katherine Snider Geriatric Fund at Princeton Hospital. Mr. Snider also served as the vice chairman, board of directors, for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and as chairman of the Foundation's Research Planning Committee.More

New treatment for major depressive disorder in adults is now available in pharmacies
Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. and Lundbeck U.S.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. and Lundbeck U.S. jointly announced last week that Brintellix (vortioxetine), for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults, is available in U.S. pharmacies, following initial availability through wholesalers soon after its Sept. 30 approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Brintellix is a once-daily oral antidepressant.

The comprehensive clinical trial program evaluating the safety and efficacy of Brintellix was comprised of seven positive studies, including six six-eight week short-term studies and one 24-64 week long-term maintenance study that demonstrated statistically significant improvements in overall symptoms of depression in adults with MDD. One trial was a dedicated study in the elderly. See the companies' press release at www.takeda.us/newsroom/press_release_detail.aspx?year=2014&id=297. More

Two proposed Alzheimer's drugs show disappointing results
The Los Angeles Times
Two biological therapies designed to improve the clearance of sticky plaques from the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease have failed to slow the steady loss of cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate forms of the degenerative disorder.More

Alzheimer's theory that's been drug graveyard facing test
Merck & Co. is putting the prevailing theory on the cause of Alzheimer’s to a test with two studies in thousands of people that may, once and for all, determine whether the amyloid tangles that grow in the brain spur the disease or are simply an outgrowth.More

Alzheimer's disease: 15-minute test could spot early sign of dementia
The Telegraph
A simple 15-minute test which can be taken at home can spot the early signs of Alzheimer's disease, researchers claim.More

Welcome, new AAGP members!

Psychiatrist Members
Alice Uflacker, MD
Alicia Romero, MD
Ellen Lee, MD
Izabella Dutra de Abreu, MD
John Wang, MD
Maria Reyes, MD
Peter Wiley, MD
Romika Dhar, MD
Whitney Carlson, MD
Chintan Shah, MD
Rachit Patel, MD
Ram J. Bishnoi, MD
Samuel Lin, MD
Wayne Hu, MD, PhD
Yauss Safavi, MD
Anne Marie Fano, BSN, RN
Gary Phillips, MPA
Tara Crisinati, MS
Student Members
Anita Modi, BS
Stefana Borovska, BS

Career opportunities listed on AAGPonline
Looking for a new job in the New Year? Check out AAGP's Jobs page at www.AAGPonline.org/jobs for open positions.More

The Gerontological Society of America's Annual Scientific Meeting

GSA's 67th Annual Scientific Meeting takes place Nov. 5-9 in Washington, D.C. The 2014 theme is “Making Connections: From Cells to Societies.” It challenges researchers to present their best evidence on aging-related connections they investigate. Submit your abstract; the submission deadline is March 5. Washington, D.C., provides a wonderful backdrop for our meeting. Learn more at geron.org/2014.More

2014 Annual NICHE Conference

Care. Collaborate. Change. April 6-8, San Diego, Calif.

The 2014 Annual NICHE Conference is a three-day event highlighting evidence-based innovations, research and collaboration. The goal is to deliver support to hospitals and other healthcare facilities in meeting one of the most critical challenges of our times — quality care of older adults. Join us and learn more about how NICHE hospitals and healthcare organizations are improving care, collaborating, and leading change in their organizations. Learn more at http://conference2014.nicheprogram.org/.More

Careers in Aging Week is April 6-12

Bright future. Many possibilities. Careers in Aging Week is an annual event intended to bring greater awareness and visibility to the wide-ranging career opportunities in aging and aging research. Universities and colleges across the world participate by sponsoring events at their schools or in their communities. Thinking about hosting an event? Download our brochure at careersinaging.com for tips and ideas, also view resources such as the award application and promotional items. Key 2014 deadlines: Award application deadline: Feb. 3; Order form deadline: March 21. Learn more about Careers in Aging at careersinaging.com.More

The changing face of psychology
The Guardian
In 1959, an American researcher named Ted Sterling reported something disturbing. Of 294 articles published across four major psychology journals, 286 had reported positive results — that is, a staggering 97 percent of published papers were underpinned by statistically significant effects. Where, he wondered, were all the negative results — the less exciting or less conclusive findings? Sterling labelled this publication bias a form of malpractice. After all, getting published in science should never depend on getting the "right results." More

Two proposed Alzheimer's drugs show disappointing results
The Los Angeles Times
Two biological therapies designed to improve the clearance of sticky plaques from the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease have failed to slow the steady loss of cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate forms of the degenerative disorder. In late clinical-trial findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the monoclonal antibodies known as solanezumab and bapineuzumab were shown ineffective at changing the downward cognitive trajectory of Alzheimer's patients. More

Research: Simple amoeba can help fight Alzheimer
Scientists have discovered a way to study the causes of Alzheimer's disease using a simple single-celled amoeba, which leads to a better understanding of how human proteins mutate. It circumvents the need for animal testing. British scientists point to the possibility of amoeba use in biomedical studies of the presenilin protein that plays a part in causing Alzheimer's disease, widespread among the elderly. A press release about the study by researchers from the Royal Holloway University of London and the Institute of Psychiatry of King's College, London, was published in the Journal of Cell Science.More

Students devise products for adults with dementia
Anyone who has, or had, a loved one with dementia will want to say "thank you" to the seven student finalists of the inaugural Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge announced recently. With any luck, caregivers and families will be able to buy their brilliant creations sometime soon.More

Caring for parents with dementia a struggle
With an ageing population, many adult children struggle to care for parents with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia without enough support.More