Study highlights cost of Alzheimer’s

Cancer and heart disease are bigger killers, but Alzheimer’s is the most expensive malady in the United States, costing families and society $157 billion to $215 billion a year, according to a new study that looked at this in unprecedented detail.

The biggest cost of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia is not drugs or other medical treatments, but the care that is needed just to get mentally impaired people through daily life, the nonprofit Rand Corp.’s study found.

Dementia’s direct costs, from medicines to nursing homes, are $109 billion a year in 2010 dollars, the Ran report found. That compares with $102 billion for heart disease and $77 billion for cancer. Informal care by family members and others pushes dementia’s total even higher.

The study also gives what experts say is the most reliable estimate for how many Americans have dementia — around 4.1 million. That is less than the widely cited 5.2 million estimate from the Alzheimer’s Association.

— Associated Press

Senate passes strict gun-control measure

The state Senate on Wednesday voted 26 to 10 to approve wide-ranging legislation in response to last year’s deadly school shooting in Newtown, including gun-control measures that ban the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines and 100 weapons that previously had been legal.

The bill will go to the House of Representatives, which is expected to pass it. It would then be sent to Gov. Dan Malloy (D), who has said he will sign it.

— Associated Press

Judge who sent Obama joke
e-mail to retire:
Montana’s chief federal judge will retire following an investigation into an
e-mail he forwarded in February 2012 that included a racist joke involving President Obama. U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull had previously announced that he would step down as chief circuit judge and take a reduced caseload, but he informed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that he now intends to fully retire May 3.

Winds dislodge disabled cruise ship: High winds dislodged the disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph from its mooring in Mobile, Ala., on Wednesday, and crews were searching for a missing shipyard worker whose guard shack was blown into the water, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Triumph was disabled Feb. 10 by an engine fire that stranded thousands of passengers onboard for days in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ariz. city votes for civil union: Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne will go to court to block the artists’ community of Bisbee from implementing a newly approved ordinance recognizing civil unions for same-sex couples, his office said Wednesday. Horne’s office will file its lawsuit well before the ordinance approved Tuesday night by the Bisbee City Council takes effect in 30 days, a spokeswoman said.

— From news services