Early Alzheimer’s symptoms go beyond memory loss (Morning Read)

Today’s current medical news includes: new research on Alzheimer’s, an appeal for vaccines from Bill Gates, and the high expenses of accountable care organizations.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about the healthcare industry.

Early Alzheimer’s symptoms go beyond memory loss: People who develop Alzheimer’s disease in middle age might be at risk of getting misdiagnosed because many patients’ first symptoms don’t include memory loss. Spanish researchers examined brain tissue from 40 patients who’s suffered from early-onset Alzheimer’s and found that 15 didn’t show the typical signs of memory loss. Early symptoms can include behavior, language, or vision problems.

Bill Gates urges a “decade of vaccines”: Microsoft founder Bill Gates is calling for African governments to strengthen their immunization programs against infectious diseases, with the goal of saving 4 million lives by 2015. All countries should aim to have 90 percent immunization coverage against diseases including polio, meningitis and pneumonia, Gates said.

Price transparency works for doctors, too: Letting doctors know how much money they spend ordering blood tests may help rein in unnecessary healthcare spending and save thousands of dollars, according to a U.S. study.

Primary care independence: Adopting electronic health records is the “last best hope” for independent, small-practice primary care doctors who want to stay that way.

Expensive ACOs: The startup costs to get accountable care organizations up and running could reach as high as $26 million, which is just slightly more than the $2 million estimated by CMS, according to the American Hospital Association.

Photo from flickr user Patrick Denker