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"Decrease in blood flow to the brain is 'earliest sign of Alzheimer's' scientists discover in most thorough study ever published on the disease." Mia De Graaf. July 12, 2016. 

Prescription Drugs are 12% of Health Care Spending

A landmark study has identified the first physiological sign of late-onset Alzheimer's. Contrary to previous understanding, brain scans show a decrease in blood flow through the brain is the earliest indicator that a patient has the disease. An increase in amyloid protein was thought to be the number one sign. But while amyloid plays a role, experts at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital have determined that blood flow decreases first in the most thorough study ever published on Alzheimer's. They also found that changes in cognition begin earlier than previously thought.

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The study, led by Dr Alan Evans, has provided the most complete maps

of the disease to date. Researchers analyzed more than 7,700 brain images from 1,171 people in various stages of Alzheimer's progression. They used a variety of techniques including MRI scans and positron emission tomography (PET), as well as analysis of blood and cerebrospinal fluid. This study, published in the journal Nature Communications on June 21, had taken all elements of the brain into account, including the pattern of amyloid concentration, glucose metabolism, cerebral blood flow, functional activity, and brain atrophy in 78 regions of the brain. 

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As Parkinson's disease progresses, patients often experience troubling side effects with their levodopa or other medications they are taking for their disease. This includes very pronounce jerking or writhing of their limbs and body. In addition, patients who have been on levodopa long-term find that the effects of the medication are not lasting as long, and they develop "on" and "off" periods. The "off" periods can be very unpredictable, but when they do occur, normal movement is very difficult. It is at this stage of their disease, which generally occurs 4-5 years after their initial diagnosis, that patients may want to consider deep brain stimulation (DBS) to try to return to an acceptable quality of life. 

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The Economist recently noted that it's not the pharmaceutical industry that profits most from our health care system, but "an army of corporate health-care middlemen." This infographic highlights the latest figures on prescription drug costs, including the positive trend on drug spending, the role of prescription drugs in the broader health care system, and the impact of hospitals and insurers on what patients pay out of pocket for medicines.

The RJ reported that the UNLV's business school has received pledges of $3 million from Dennis Troesh and $1 million from the Charles Koch Foundation for its Center for Entrepreneurship. The Dean of the Lee School of Business, Brent Hathaway, said that the school has seen increased demand from students across all majors for entrepreneurship training. The money will be dispersed over a 5 year period.