Obesity, Physical Activity Levels Could Impact Risk of Meningioma

Increased body fat may enhance the risk for meningioma while physical activity could decrease likelihood, according to new evidence published in Neurology (September 16). Conducting a meta-review of studies through February 2015, investigators identified 12 BMI studies and six studies of physician activity, finding that overweight and obese patients had an increased risk of meningioma. Additionally, high physical activity was associated with lower rates of meningioma. Importantly, however, the findings also indicated that neither obesity nor physical activity was related to glioma risk.

New Report Examines Economic Factors of Rising Rates of Alzheimer’s Disease

The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to reach nearly 30 million in the Americas by 2050, according to a new report from Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI). The report also estimated the regional cost of dementia in the Americas at $315 billion, comparable to the market value of Google. Much of the global increase in the prevalence of dementia will take place in the low and middle-income countries, according to the authors. Today, more than half of all people with dementia live in low and middle income countries, and this will rise to 68 percent by 2050. In these countries, stigma, lack of support for people living with dementia and their families and lack of funding for health systems present major challenges.

During the 67th Session of the Regional Committee of the WHO for the Americas, held this fall in Washington DC, PAHO country representatives voted unanimously in favor of the Plan of Action, obliging countries to develop national dementia plans. These plans include the promotion of risk reduction strategies through public health programs, ensuring a rights-based approach to the provision of care and support for people living with dementia and better training for health professionals, as well as more funding for research. 

For the full report: http://www.worldalzreport2015.org/

Risk of Developing Parkinson’s Disease Higher Among Asthma Patients

Patients with asthma may have an elevated risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life, according to new data published in a recent edition of Allergy (August 27). Reviewing a research database, researchers identified patients with asthma who developed Parkinson’s disease and found that patients with asthma had an increase risk of developing PD even after adjusting for demographic data, health system use, and other factors. The findings also suggested a dose-dependent relationship between greater asthma severity and a higher risk of subsequent PD. Patients with asthma who had more frequent admission during the follow-up period exhibited greater risk of subsequent PD.

Neurology Device Market to Reach $13.6 Billion by 2019

The neurology device market is expected to swell to $13.6 billion in 2019, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research. According to the report, key factors contributing to the immense growth of the global neurology devices market are increasing incidences of neurological disorders such Alzheimer’s disease, ischemic stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain cancer, and other such traumas to the brain. The report, entitled “Neurology Devices Market—Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013-2019,” also suggests that patients may be increasingly opting for use of neurology devices over drugs due to apparent decreased risk side effects. The forecasted number of $13.6 billion by 2019 is a significant increase over the $5 billion value it held in 2012.

To access the report visit www.transparencymarketresearch.com.

Near-Infrared Light Found Beneficial for TBI with Minimal Skin Irritation

For patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), near-infrared light (NIR) may accelerate regeneration of the brain cells’ functionality with minimal skin irritation.

In a new study published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, investigators compared penetration levels of low-power NIR, such as that from light-emitting diodes (LED) with high-power NIR on skin, bone, tissue, and brain. They found that low-power infrared light in the milliwatt range does not penetrate a full thickness section of human skin (2mm), nor does it deliver any significant infrared energy to a depth of 3cm into the brain. Additionally, high-power infrared light achieved at least 3cm penetration into the brain, which wavelengths of 980 and 808 nm with 9-13 Watts average power.

The investigators also suggested that a “pulsed” application of near-infrared light might be more effective than continuous wave light. Noting also an absence of thermal skin irritation and negligible skin temperature changed, the authors concluded these findings indicate that current notions about the penetration of NIR may be off-base.

Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Launches New Initiative Focused on Women

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is launching a new initiative dedicated to improving the health of women living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Kicking off its three-day conference in Florham Park, NJ, the Women and PD Initiative will feature interactive sessions led by female health professionals from the fields of movement disorders, psychology, physical therapy, sexuality, and wellness. It is the first national coordinated effort dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women living with Parkinson’s disease PD. 

According to a review conducted by PDF in 2013, there are significant unanswered questions and unmet needs for women with Parkinson’s disease. It revealed that women experience Parkinson’s disease differently, yet are underrepresented in clinical studies testing new treatments.  It also found that women are less likely to see a specialist who can provide the best care—with one study estimating that it takes women 61 percent longer than men to see a specialist after disease onset. Additionally, 88 percent of women with Parkinson’s surveyed by PDF indicated that they want resources focused on women’s needs.

Visit www.pdf.org for more information.

AC Immune Partners with Nestlé to Develop Tau Diagnostic Test for Alzheimer’s Disease

AC Immune struck a deal with Nestlé’s Institute of Health Sciences to develop a minimally invasive Tau diagnostic assay for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. AC Immune will provide expertise in the biology and pathology of Tau, as well as committing its laboratory capabilities to support the collaborative research program. Meanwhile, Nestlé will apply its proprietary multiplexed antibody technology platform in hopes of identifying and validating a highly sensitive diagnostic assay for the detection of Tau in human cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma.

Biogen Presents Promising Long-Term Tecfidera Safety and Efficacy Data

Biogen presented new data that reinforce the efficacy and safety profile of Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) in a broad range of people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS)at the recent 31st Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Bercelona. The data show that Tecfidera significantly reduced MS relapses and delayed disability progression in patients who are newly diagnosed and those early in their disease course; these effects were sustained over six years of follow-up. Post-hoc analysis revealed that Tecfidera significantly reduced key inflammatory disease outcomes compared to glatiramer acetate (GA)1 and, in a separate analysis, Tecfidera demonstrated a favorable benefit-risk profile throughout six years of follow-up from the ENDORSE study, according to Biogen.

Injectable Agent Approved for Schizophrenia

The FDA approved Aristada (aripiprazole lauroxil, Alkermes, Inc.) extended release injection to treat adults with schizophrenia. The approval is based on a 12-weeks clinical trial in which 622 participants with acute schizophrenia who had been stabilized with oral aripiprazole maintained the treatment effect compared to placebo. n