September 21, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


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A September 20, 2018 CBS News article looked to numbers in a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which finds that the number of people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias will double by 2060 in the United States. The number is projected to grow to 13.9 million, nearly 3.3 percent of the population. The study also addressed race and ethnicity, predicting Hispanic Americans will have the largest increase. The data is derived from the U.S. Census Bureau, Medicare and Medicaid. Also covered by USA TodayFortune and others.

A September 19, 2018 Huffington Post article broke down what you need to know about the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. There’s an overlap between the two because dementia is an umbrella term signifying cognitive loss (which includes AD), a ‘syndrome’ that encompasses many diseases. According to Columbia University Medical Center Associate Professor Elise Caccappolo, “Major medical centers are pretty good at diagnosing it, but in other parts of the country or [when seeing] a general neurologist, the term ‘Alzheimer’s’ can be thrown around very commonly, and if someone doesn’t have it, the medication isn’t going to help, and they could be missing out on other treatments.”


A September 21, 2018 The Times of India blog post reported that up to four million Indians have Alzheimer’s disease and some preventative measures can be taken. According to the post, “Most importantly, regular exercises for the mind and body, alongside eating nutritious foods that are rich in omega-3, have been found to be beneficial. Brain exercises include regularly learning new skills and languages as well as solving puzzles like Sudoku and Crosswords. New skills tend to increase use of parts of the brain that go dormant with age, while puzzles prevent these areas of the brain from going dormant.”

A September 20, 2018 Cosmos Magazine article focused on a new study from the UK analyzing the link between chronic exposure to air pollution and dementia. If the relationship is shown to be causal, then neurodegenerative disease joins heart disease, stroke and respiratory illness as a known danger of exposure to airborne particles. According to the article “The researchers stress that the results are purely observational, and cannot demonstrate causation. On that basis, the findings may be specific only to London. Another important limitation is that the analysis covered only seven years. As such it cannot be used to infer a definite link between pollution and Alzheimer’s, because the disease takes many years to fully develop.”

According to a September 18, 2018 National Post article, Alzheimer’s misdiagnosis are more common than we may think. By 2025, estimates predict there will be one million people with dementia in the UK, so investing in improving early diagnosis is essential.  “If someone comes to me with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I believe in doing my own tests and making my own judgment. Individuals will often not question the diagnosis they are given, as they expect the doctor to be accurate, due to their expertise. I would estimate that we see several cases a month where the diagnosis [should be] of another dementia, or where we have to retract the dementia diagnosis [altogether],” said Dr. Catherine Mummery of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.