AAGP eNews
Mar. 25, 2014

Faculty, participants contribute to successful Annual Meeting
Kathy Cronkite describes the help she received for her depression during the March 16 plenary.
Nearly 1,000 health care professionals attended the AAGP 2014 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., earlier this month, and gave it high marks for content, format, and networking opportunities. The Review Course on Geriatric Psychiatry and the Neuroscience Teaching Day program were popular again in 2014, and the plenaries were highly attended. During the March 14 Opening Plenary, AAGP President Susan Schultz outlined her vision, telling the audience that the field’s charge includes collaborative care and training. AAGP Past President Paul Kirwin, APA Past President Dilip Jeste, and AMA Past President Jeremy Lazarus described the findings of APA’s Coalition on Mental Health and Violence in the March 15 plenary session. On March 16, author and advocate Kathy Cronkite reminded participants of the detrimental effects of stigma on finding and receiving quality mental health care.

Participants reconnected with one another and met new colleagues during the Opening Reception and the two Exhibit Hall receptions, as well as during the Roundtable Discussion session and in AAGP group meetings. The Exhibit Hall featured more than 20 exhibitors, two research poster sessions, four product theaters, and a complimentary WiFi Lounge.

Our thanks go to the many sponsors who made the Annual Meeting possible: Avanir Pharmaceuticals; Forest Pharmaceuticals; Lilly USA, LLC; Lundbeck; and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. More

Save the date, send AAGP your proposals for the 2015 Annual Meeting
AAGP’s 2015 Annual Meeting will take place in New Orleans at the New Orleans Marriott, March 27-30. Planning is already underway, and the meeting theme is “Interprofessional Practice: Working Together to Meet the Mental Health Needs of Older Adults.” Submit your session and poster proposals beginning April 15 at AAGPmeeting.org. Keep these dates in mind: Session proposals are due June 15. New research posters are due Oct. 1 and posters from early investigators are due Oct. 15.More

CMS withdraws proposal limiting access to antidepressants and antipsychotics in Medicare Part D
In a letter to Congress, CMS announced it reversed its decision on proposed changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. The CMS proposal would have removed antidepressants and antipsychotics from the list of medications that are required to be included in all Part D formularies. Medicare formularies have included six protected drug classes: anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antineoplastics, antipsychotics, antiretrovirals, and immunosuppressants for the treatment of transplant rejection. In a letter to Congress, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner explained that given the complexities of the Part D issues and stakeholder input, CMS does not plan to finalize the proposals at this time but will “engage in further stakeholder input.”

AAGP was one of several physician groups that voiced opposition to the CMS proposal and submitted a letter to CMS Administrator Tavenner calling the proposed change regarding antipsychotics “unwarranted, but possibly dangerous” and emphasizing that the proposed change regarding antidepressants could have a “disproportionate impact on older adults.” AAGP is pleased with CMS’s withdrawal of its proposal. See AAGP’s March 2014 letter to CMS.More

Are you on the list?
Question: What’s it take to get on an AAGP committee?
Answer: An email address.

The majority of AAGP’s committees, caucuses and interest groups are open to any members wishing to join. Sign up for these groups by joining their listservs at www.aagponline.org/lists. Learn about the association and become active in the core committees (Clinical Practice, Research, and Teaching and Training), or the other groups such as the Advanced Practice Nurses Caucus, the Members-in-Training Caucus, the Public Policy Caucus, the VA Caucus, the Women’s Interest Group, and more.

If you are interested in participating on one of the administrative committees (Annual Meeting Program Committee, Continuing Medical Education Committee, or the Nominations Committee), please use the Join form on the AAGP website. More

Explore the AJGP and review the most read and most cited articles
The online American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry at www.AJGPonline.org has a number of helpful features including the “most read” and “most cited” tabs. Did you see these articles?

Most read as of March 23:
The Epidemiology of Delirium: Challenges and Opportunities for Population Studies
December 2013 (Vol. 21 | No. 12 | Pages 1173-1189)
Daniel H.J. Davis, Stefan H. Kreisel, Graciela Muniz Terrera, Andrew J. Hall, Alessandro Morandi, Malaz Boustani, Karin J. Neufeld, Hochang Benjamin Lee, Alasdair M.J. MacLullich, Carol Brayne

Understanding Sleep Disorders in Geriatric Psychiatry
March 2013 (Vol. 21 | No. 3 | Pages S38-S39)
William M. McDonald, Charles F. Reynolds, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Vaughn McCall

Patterns of Newly-Prescribed Benzodiazepines in Late Life

March 2013 (Vol. 21 | No. 3 | Pages S90-S91)
Olga Achildi, Shirley H. Leong, Donovan T. Maust, Joel E. Streim, David W. Oslin More

New clues to Alzheimer's
The New York Times
Two studies of Alzheimer’s disease recently published in respected scientific journals offered glimmers of hope for progress against this devastating neurological disorder.More

Cooking meat 'may be dementia risk'
Browning meat in the oven, grill or frying pan produces chemicals which may increase the risk of developing dementia, U.S. researchers suggest.More

Blood test predicts Alzheimer's disease
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have developed a blood test for Alzheimer's disease that predicts with astonishing accuracy whether a healthy person will develop the disease.More

American Psychiatric Association news: Renée Binder, MD elected APA president-elect; Frank W. Brown, MD elected treasurer
The American Psychiatric Association voted in Renée Binder, MD, as its next president-elect and Frank W. Brown, MD, as its next treasurer. Binder is currently associate dean of academic affairs, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco and Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Director. She has previously served as interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, director of Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics and in positions with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Her term as president-elect of the APA, confirmed by the APA Board of Trustees March 8, will begin in May at the conclusion of the APA Annual Meeting, when President-Elect Paul Summergrad, MD, begins his one-year term as president. Binder will become APA president in May 2015.

Brown, a long-time member of AAGP, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer at Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital.More

Women in their 60s twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease over the rest of their lives as they are breast cancer

According to the Alzheimer's Association 2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, a woman's estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer's at age 65 is 1 in 6, compared with nearly 1 in 11 for a man. As real a concern as breast cancer is to women's health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer. The full text of the Alzheimer's Association Facts and Figures can be viewed at www.alz.org. The full report also appears in the March 2014 issue of "Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association (Volume 10, Issue 2)."More

NIH Senior Health addresses aging and alcohol use

Older adults and their families can find information on alcohol use and aging on the NIH Senior Health website at http://nihseniorhealth.gov/alcoholuse/alcoholandaging/01.html. The section includes information on how alcohol affects the body and how it impacts safety, and a quiz to test the user’s knowledge.More

New clues to Alzheimer's
The New York Times
Two studies of Alzheimer’s disease recently published in respected scientific journals offered glimmers of hope for progress against this devastating neurological disorder. Neither advance is guaranteed to produce important clinical benefits anytime soon, but they may point the way toward new pathways to treat and diagnose a condition that impairs the thinking and memories of its victims and ultimately kills many of them.More

Why the FDA's recent approval of brain biomarkers may help Alzheimer's efforts
Boston Business Journal
A Boston-based company has received approval for a compound that can be administered to better gauge levels of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, which can in turn indicate the likelihood of a patient having Alzheimer’s disease.More

Caregivers for elderly parents are the new 'working moms'
Three decades ago, the issue of childcare was thrust into the national spotlight when American households shifted to allow both spouses to enter the workforce. It presented human resources professionals with a major issue that has since been addressed. But now companies face a new challenge when it comes to retaining valued workers. As Americans live longer, more and more are developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Their needs have become so profound that it is taking a toll on child caregivers, who are believed to make up at least 25 percent of the U.S. workforce.More

A dementia that rivals Alzheimer's strikes before age 65
NBC News
Just two years ago, Barbara Whitmarsh was a woman who seemed to have it all. She was a highly regarded scientist at the National Institutes of Health. Married for 30 years, she’d raised six children with her beloved husband, John. But then John Whitmarsh started to notice some disturbing changes in his wife, now 62. It was as if the woman he’d married and lived with all that time was slowly and inexorably fading away.More