Daily Rounds: Alzheimer's Redefined; Global Flu Fight; MA Reform Lessons; '3-Parent IVF'

Updated Guidelines for Diagnosing Alzheimer’s -
For the first time in 27 years, the definition of Alzheimer’s disease is being recast in new medical guidelines that reflect fast-mounting evidence that it begins ravaging the brain years before the symptoms of dementia. The guidelines, to be issued Tuesday by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association, divide the disease into three stages: a phase when dementia has developed, a middle phase in which mild problems emerge but daily functions can still be performed, and the most recently discovered phase, in which no symptoms are evident but changes are brewing in the brain. “We’re redefining Alzheimer’s disease and looking at this in a different way than had ever been done,” said Creighton Phelps, director of the National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Disease Centers Program. “I think we’re going to start to identify it earlier and earlier.” (

WHO Resolves Impasse Over Sharing Of Flu Viruses, Access To Vaccines : Shots - Health Blog : NPR
The World Health Organization has brokered a deal resolving a long-running dispute between poorer countries and developed nations over access to emerging flu viruses and vaccines against them. Under the agreement, finalized Saturday after an all-night final bargaining session, vaccine manufacturers commit to setting aside at least 10 percent of the world's flu vaccine production for developing nations when the next flu pandemic strikes. Poorer countries would either get vaccine free or pay reduced prices for it. In return, developing nations agree to routinely share samples of mutating flu viruses with the WHO.  (

Experts Look to Mass. for Health Care Lessons - Features - California Healthline
Rob Restuccia — executive director of Community Catalyst, a national consortium of health consumer advocacy organizations, and professor at Boston University School of Public Health — said he is pleasantly surprised at how well the Massachusetts law is working and how widely the changes are being accepted."I was incredibly skeptical from the start. I'm a full-time single-payer advocate and I was particularly concerned about the insurance mandate. I would have never predicted it was going to work as well as it has," Restuccia said.

BBC News - Three-parent IVF needs more research, review says
More research is needed into a controversial fertility treatment, known as three-parent IVF, before it can be considered safe for clinical use, a review has concluded. Mitochondrial transfer aims to replace a faulty part of a mother's egg with healthy material from a donor. This means a baby would have a small amount of the donor's genetic material, and therefore three biological parents. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) carried out the study. (The BBC)

This program aired on April 19, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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