Monday, September 17, 2018

Report published on Canadian National Dementia Conference

The Public Health Agency of Canada has released a summary of proceedings from the National Dementia Conference, held in Ottawa in May 2018 to inform the development of the national dementia strategy.

Monday, September 17, 2018

McMaster researchers invent new technique for testing Alzheimer’s treatments

Most Alzheimer’s drug research focuses on the peptide clusters, known as senile plaques, that are commonly found in the patient’s brain. Plaques are toxic to the surrounding tissue, but researchers don’t know why or how the peptides cluster together. Researchers at McMaster University theorized that certain compounds might affect the surrounding brain tissue in a way that could prevent plaque formation, or perhaps even break up existing clusters.

Monday, September 17, 2018

First-ever Canadian charter of rights for people with dementia

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has published a charter of rights designed to support self-advocacy by people with dementia and their families, who often face stigma and discrimination. The charter was developed by the society’s advisory group, comprised of people who live with dementia, to ensure that people know their rights and feel empowered to act.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Dementia risk doubles with stroke

While the link between stroke and dementia is well known, a systematic review led by researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School has quantified the risk of developing dementia following a stroke. After accounting for other risk factors, including blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the study established that a recent stroke doubles the risk of dementia, while a history of stroke raises the risk by 70 percent.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Eye scan may enable early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

Long before someone exhibits signs of dementia such as memory loss or mood changes, their retinas may reveal the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered that a group of seniors who were at risk of developing the disease, due to elevated levels of brain plaque, also had thinner retinas and fewer retinal blood vessels than other participants in the study.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Agitation in people with Alzheimer’s should first be treated without drugs

An international panel of experts in dementia care has agreed that the best ways to reduce agitation in Alzheimer’s patients are non-pharmacological. Based on a comprehensive evidence review, the top-ranked methods include assessment and management of underlying causes, educating caregivers, adapting the environment, person-centred care and providing a tailored activity program.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Better cardiovascular health may lower your risk of dementia

A study of more than 6,600 seniors in France showed that taking care of your body can help protect your brain. The research team examined seven measures of cardiovascular health — diet, exercise, weight management, smoking status, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol — based on the American Health Association program “My Life Check - Life's Simple 7.” Participants were tracked for an average of 8.5 years. About 13 percent of those with the lowest scores went on to develop dementia during the study, compared with only 7 percent of those who scored highest.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Time-saving tool developed to measure early cognitive decline

A team of researchers, led by Dr. Morris Freedman at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, is developing a short, time-saving assessment tool to detect early cognitive decline. The Toronto Cognitive Assessment (TorCA) is a comprehensive diagnostic test designed to detect mild cognitive impairment. Both a paper version and an electronic version for the iPad have been developed. In a recent study, the researchers report that both versions of the TorCA were validated to detect mild cognitive impairment related to memory loss.

Monday, September 3, 2018

New law mandates dementia training for Massachusetts doctors and nurses

The State of Massachusetts has passed a ground-breaking law — the first of its kind in the USA — that requires physicians, physician assistants and nurses to be trained in dementia care and diagnosis before they can renew their licence to practice. Doctors who have diagnosed a patient with Alzheimer’s disease are also now required by legislation to inform a family member or a legal representative about the diagnosis. And by October 2021, hospitals must design and implement plans to recognize and manage patients with dementia.

Monday, August 27, 2018

New Rare Genetic Variants Linked with Alzheimer's Disease Discovered

Research out of the Alzheimer’s disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) recently found three genetic variants that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, including IGHG3, an immunoglobulin gene. Antibodies from this variant react with beta-amyloid plaques. The other two genes are AC099552.4 and ZNF655. AC099552.4 is a long non-coding RNA sequence, and is part of a class of RNA that regulates gene transcription, expression, and affects cognition through its role in neuroplasticity and development. ZNF655 is a zinc-finger protein and is expressed in the brain and expresses Krueppel-like factors.

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