You may have read reports about a new blood test to detect early brain changes that can flag common markers of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s moved one step closer to clinical use and could be a game-changer, according to researchers.
Up to two decades before people develop the characteristic memory loss and confusion of Alzheimer’s disease, damaging clumps of protein start to build up in their brains. Continue reading
A recently recognized dementia that mimics many of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, but actually is an entirely different form of brain deterioration, has been documented in a new research paper.
Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (also known as LATE) primarily affects adults 80 years and older and “has been associated with substantial cognitive impairment that mimicked Alzheimer’s disease,” said researchers of the paper, which appeared in the June edition of Brain: A Journal of Neurology. Continue reading
There’s little question in Lisa McGuire’s mind that Alzheimer’s disease is a public health threat in progress. She leads the CDC’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Both the prevalence and costs of Alzheimer’s are expected to increase as baby boomers age, meaning this crisis is fast approaching.
So the CDC, along with the Alzheimer’s Association, embarked on an ambitious “Healthy Brain” initiative to help bring down the trajectory. They created a series of roadmaps for state and local health departments, highlighting different health strategies that can quickly and easily blend into existing public health programs. Continue reading
Would you want to know if you were at risk of Alzheimer’s disease, although it’s incurable and treatment options are limited?
Most people said yes” according to a recent survey from the Alliance for Aging Research conducted by Avalere Health. The vast majority of those surveyed also said that early detection is important to them and that they are willing to participate in clinical trials. Continue reading
In a recent commentary in JAMA Neurology, Elisa de Paula França Resende, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues write about how social determinants of health affect demographic patterns of dementia in the United States. Noting that with an aging population, the prevalence of dementia will increase substantially, Resende and her co-authors write that of the social determinants affecting dementia risk, health and socioeconomics act more strongly than do race or cultural identifiers. I will add here that being female also is involved in dementia risk, as women are at greater risk for it than men. Continue reading
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJBrent P. Forester
While scientists are getting closer to understanding the various causes and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, there’s still no cure.
However, that doesn’t mean life is hopeless for millions of people who have the disease, or their families. There’s a lot we can do improve their quality of life, according to panelists at a Health Journalism 2019 session on Alzheimer’s. Continue reading