Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
A September 11, 2017 Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis podcast and press release reported that researchers are recruiting volunteers for a two-year study exploring whether improving cardiovascular health reduces the risk of dementia. They are looking at aerobic exercise, and intensive medical management of blood pressure and cholesterol, to see if controlling these factors may prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in those at risk. According to principal investigator Ellen F. Binder, MD,“There is a greater risk for Alzheimer’s in people with high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. These are risk factors we normally associate with cardiovascular disease and stroke, but they can change the brain’s vasculature and structure, and that can increase the risk of dementia.”
According to a September 11, 2017 The New York Times article, last week the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bipartisan bill providing $36.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health in the fiscal year that starts next month. Congress pushed back against the President’s proposed $7.5 billion cuts. The Senate bill provides a 29 percent funding increase for Alzheimer’s disease research, totaling $1.8 billion for next year.
A September 11, 2017 Being Patient video segment and article interviewed Savonix CEO Mylea Charvat about the beginning signs of cognitive impairment. Savonix is a digital cognitive tracking and impairment screening tool, including verbal memory, immediate and delayed, cognitive flexibility, executive function, working memory and attention focus. The test is very sensitive to discrete changes. A doctor orders it to be taken on an iPad or smartphone in the clinic, or at home on your own device. Early indicators of Alzheimer’s include changes in attention, and psychomotor and executive function, as well as thinking, planning, complex reasoning and working memory.
A September 11, 2017 Medscape video segment commentary by Maureen K. McCamley, MD, PhD, an internal medicine primary care resident at Emory University, made the case for home visits, especially for vulnerable populations. They can be cost-effective and an effective residency training tool. McCamley cited the example of a patient who showed signs of rapidly progressive cognitive decline and how she was easily able to ascertain the cause, do a full medication reconciliation on her medications and stop unnecessary prescriptions from a single home visit.
RESEARCH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
A September 11, 2017 The Pharmaceutical Journal article reported that a recent study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found no link between the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) and Alzheimer’s disease, as had been previously indicated.