Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that high doses of vitamin E may slow functional decline in those with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers followed 614 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease at Veterans Affairs medical centers over 2.3 years. Results showed that those receiving 2,000 IU of vitamin E displayed a slowed decline in daily functioning compared to those not taking the vitamin.
Health ministers from G8 countries met this past week at an inaugural G8 dementia summit to discuss global approaches to fighting dementia. According to British Prime Minister David Cameron, “we stood against malaria, against cancer, against HIV and AIDS, and we should be just as resolute today.” Summit leaders explained that finding a treatment or cure by 2025 is a top priority. Leaders recognized that if no action is taken, dementia could bankrupt the health care systems. Canada was the only country at the summit without a national dementia strategy.
Researchers out of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine have identified five lifestyle behaviors that show the greatest promise of reducing the risk of dementia, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. As part of the 35-year study, researchers analyzed data from the Caerphilly Cohort Study, which tracked behaviors of 2,235 men between the ages of 45-49 from 1979 to 2004.
New research indicates that regular exercise may help increase cognitive clarity and the ability self care among those with dementia. Researchers out of the University of Alberta in Edmonton conducted a review of 16 randomized and controlled trials on the impact of exercise programs on outcomes like thinking skills, activities of daily living, challenging behavior, and depression in those with dementia. The 16 separate trials involved approximately one thousand older adults with dementia.
New estimates from the advocacy group Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) suggest that the current 44 million people living will more than triple to 135 million people by 2050. These new estimates show a 17 percent increase in the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease compared to rates recorded in 2010. Further estimates suggest that most of the cases, approximately 70 percent of those with dementia, will be in poorer countries. According to Marc Wortmann, executive director of ADI, “it’s a global epidemic and it is only getting worse.