A new analysis funded by the National Institute of Aging (NIA) and the American Federation for Aging Research evaluated medical and care costs in the last five years of life in America. According to the study, total health care spending for people with dementia in the last five years of life was greater than a quarter-million dollars per person. The researchers analyzed costs from Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, out-of-pocket and informal care.
Researchers at University College London (UCL) have discovered that withdrawing a commonly-prescribed Alzheimer's disease drug from people in the late stages of dementia increases their risk of moving to a nursing home. The team examined the effects of continuing or discontinuing the drug, donepezil on 295 individuals with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. Prescription of donepezil is usually discontinued in people in the advance stages of the disease because there is a lack of perceived benefit by physicians.
A research team at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found a process by which a specific form of the tau protein is able to spread from one neuron to another in the brain of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. "It has been postulated that tangles - the abnormal accumulation of tau protein that fills neurons in Alzheimer's disease - can travel from neuron to neuron as the disease progresses, spreading dysfunction through the brain as the disease progresses.
Majority of dementia research aims to find treatments for people who are already experiencing symptoms. However, a first-of-its-kind trial is being conducted in London which aims to prevent Alzheimer’s disease in high-risk individuals, before they show any clinical symptoms. These individuals have at least a 50% chance of having a rare genetic mutation that will lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in early life, usually in their 30s or 40s.
Nilotinib, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia has shown to be effective in treating Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. In the study, 12 people with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia were administered increasing doses of nilotinib, from 150 to 300 milligrams, over a span of six months. Throughout the study, the participants’ motor skills, cognition and non-motor function improved. Those in the earlier stages of the diseases and those with Lewy body dementia showed the greatest improvements.