For the first time, scientists have found a connection between abnormalities in how the brain breaks down glucose and the severity of the signature amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain, as well as the onset of eventual outward symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Can a precision medicine approach to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias improve outcomes?
That is the theory behind the Dementia Prevention Initiative (DPI). The Florida Atlantic University (FAU) program twists the usual methods used to research and treat AD by employing an “n-of-1” design individualize medicine down to a single patient. Instead of conducting a conventional trial of 100 people who get the same treatment, the program conducts 100 single trials personalized to the individual. The youngest DPI patient is currently 61, and the oldest is 86. Continue reading
Stressful life events, poverty and racial inequities contribute to dementia risk in late life, according to new research unveiled at a recent global gathering of Alzheimer’s experts in London. One major stressful early life event may equate to as much as four years of cognitive aging, with African Americans are most at risk, one study said.
This and other studies presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2017) in July add to the growing body of evidence of the role that social determinants of health can have on Alzheimer’s disease. Continue reading
More people are living with Alzheimer’s than ever before — and more are also dying from the disease, according to a new report from the CDC. Alzheimer’s-related deaths in the United States more than doubled between 1999 and 2014 — from 44,536 to 93,541. That’s a 54.5 percent jump in 15 years. Rates were higher among women compared with men and among non-Hispanic whites compared with other racial/ethnic populations.
While most people with the disease still die in nursing homes, the proportion of older adults dying at home also increased significantly during this time frame — from 13.9 percent in 1999 to 24.9 percent in 2014. Continue reading
The new year heralds a new administration and much uncertainty about what lies ahead for older adults’ health care. There are threats (or promises) to privatize Medicare, cut elder-friendly programs such as the SNAP supplemental nutrition program, revamp Social Security, eliminate CMS demo programs and more.
From science to community-based care, here are some issues to put on your beat’s radar for 2017: Continue reading