Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco have reviewed findings from an emerging area of brain imaging research, called ‘resting-state’ imaging, and report in the Journal, Biological Psychiatry, that distinct brain networks are associated with different types of dementia.
Analysis of genetic data has discovered 11 new regions of DNA that contribute to a person’s susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease.
This new study doubles our understanding of the genetic factors that are involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Why is this important? Well, these genetic factors play a small role in either reducing or increasing a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr Renate Zilkens and her Perth team, recently undertook a study on the rates of prescription of cholinesterase inhibitors across Australia to determine if there were any trends in who was or was not prescribed these drugs. Cholinesterase inhibitors are a class of drugs that help treat the symptoms of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs are one of the very limited treatment options for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
There is growing evidence that hospitals are not safe places for people with dementia.
For example, a recent report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, commissioned by Alzheimer’s Australia with support from the J.O. & J.R. Wicking Trust, found that almost half of people with dementia in hospitals are not identified as such, and that people with dementia end up in hospital for longer than people without, at an additional cost of 35% to the healthcare system.
Diabetes is a known risk factor for the development of dementia, but the details of this association have not been determined.
The number of people with diabetes in the global population is increasing. This increase in diabetes prevalence will impact on the number of people with dementia, but the scale of this influence is unpredictable with the current data. Quantifying this relationship will allow better and targeted health policy so we can prepare for the future.