Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Rates of dementia dropping in UK, Maria Shriver on the importance of early Alzheimer's detection, and pets helping dementia sufferers (read more).  

 

Must reads

  • A July 16, 2013 New York Times article reported that "A new study has found that dementia rates among people 65 and older in England and Wales have plummeted by 25 percent over the past two decades, to 6.2 percent from 8.3 percent, a trend that researchers say is probably occurring across developed countries and that could have major social and economic implications for families and societies." Also covered by Bloomberg.
  • A July 16, 2013 Boston Globe article reported that "Free Internet tests claiming to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease don’t work and could harm the elderly." According to the article, "The only definitive way to diagnose Alzheimer’s is through an autopsy after death, so aging adults who fear they may be suffering from early dementia are increasingly turning to the Internet for help deciding whether they are sick. But researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver advised against using most of these online diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s. Eighty percent of Internet users look online for diagnoses, and they should be aware that “as a whole, there are serious issues with these types of online tools,” Julie Robillard, a postdoctoral fellow in neuroethics at the university and one of the authors of the study, said by e-mail."

 Research and science 

  • A July 16, 2013 Reuters (via Chicago Tribune) article reported that "An experimental drug to treat Alzheimer's disease proved effective in improving cognitive performance in a mid-stage study, Danish pharmaceutical group Lundbeck, one of the drug's two developer's." According to the article, "The drug, Lu AE58054, showed statistically significant cognitive improvement in a Phase II clinical trial of patients suffering from moderate Alzheimer's, when used as an add-on to the drug donepezil for six months."

 International 

  • A July 15, 2013 The Independent (UK) article reported on a pilot program in Scotland that pairs elderly individuals with assistance pets. According to the article, "An elderly couple in Scotland said they have been given their lives back after they were partnered up with two-year-old golden Labrador Kaspa – who is one of the first dogs in the UK to receive special training to assist dementia-sufferers.Kaspa’s skills include fetching medicines when a reminder alarm goes off, waking up his owners at the right time and carrying items between them."

 

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