Alzheimer’s Update

The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2015 took place in July in Washington, DC.  The conference provides the opportunity for dementia researchers around the globe to come together and share their study results, with the aim of stepping closer to prevention and treatment strategies for Alzheimer’s and other dementias The conference reported some very promising results highlights include:

Promising new data results for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Results from more than a dozen experimental drug studies show the research community attacking Alzheimer’s disease from multiple angles, targeting the underlying causes and some of the most pernicious symptoms.

28 Million Baby Boomers will get Alzheimer’s disease
Projections reported by The Lewin Group for the Alzheimer’s Association show that 28 million American baby boomers will get Alzheimer’s by midcentury — a deluge that will consume nearly 25 percent of Medicare spending in 2040 — unless there are significant advances in treatment and prevention.

Type 1 diabetes identified as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease
The study looking at a healthcare database of more than 490,000 people over 60 years old found that participants with T1D were 60 to 93 percent more likely to get dementia compared with people without diabetes, even when the diabetes is treated. More research is needed to validate this finding and investigate the biological reasons for the increased risk in T1D.

Early education impacts future risk for Alzheimer’s disease

Two studies from Sweden suggest a correlation between childhood school performance (ages 9-10) and the development of late life dementia.

Women are at greater risk for cognitive decline and dementia
Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease. According to Alzheimer’s Association 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, almost two-thirds of American seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Women are also more likely to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. The most recent data show that 63 percent of all unpaid Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women.

Researchers report new ways to predict the development of Alzheimer’s disease

Studies indicate that brain scans, memory tests and body fluids may hold the keys to understanding a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s, even among those who don’t have memory and thinking problems associated with the disease.

Physical exercise may be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia
We know that regular physical activity may reduce the risk of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Three new research studies demonstrated the value of moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, finding that this type of exercise may help them live better with the disease.