AAIC 2016: New Data Offer Compelling Portrait of Evolving Alzheimer’s Spectrum
At the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference in Toronto, Ontario this summer, experts from various specialties convened to share and learn about the latest developments in research and treatment in Alzheimer’s disease. Presenters shared findings on a range of topics, from new potential modalities, detection strategies, and cost analyses for treatment. Ahead are highlights from the meeting:
Active Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease Reduces Healthcare Costs
Treating patients with agents that do not change the underlying course of the disease costs the healthcare system less than not providing medication for Alzheimer’s disease, according to new findings presented at AAIC 2016. Additionally, patients receiving the current standard of care in treatment had lower mortality rates during the study compared to untreated patients. Another study analyzing all-cause mortality rates and healthcare costs among people with Alzheimer’s disease found that those who had never been treated were generally older and had more comorbidities and a death rate almost twice as high as those receiving treatment.
Vascular Care Intervention May Reduce Non-Alzheimer’s Dementia
Vascular care intervention may be beneficial in the treatment of non-Alzheimer’s dementia, according to findings from the Prevention of Dementia By Intensive Vascular Care (preDIVA) trial. Researchers conducted a six-year, open cluster-randomized controlled clinical trial in primary care where 3,526 cognitively healthy persons age 70-78 were randomized to either usual care (1,636 participants) or usual care plus three additional visits per year led by a nurse and focused on vascular care (1,890 participants), with cumulative dementia incidence and disability as the primary outcomes. Main secondary outcomes were incident cardiovascular disease, mortality, and dementia by subtype.
Odor Identification Testing Shows Potential for Alzheimer’s Detection
New evidence suggests that the potential for odor identification testing and tracking of physical changes in and around the eye to detect cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage. Two studies evaluated changes in odor identification and compared it to two established biological markers for cognitive decline and dementia—brain amyloid PET imaging and thickness of the brain’s cortex. Other studies reported at the meeting found a strong association between thinning nerve layers in the retina of the eye and poor cognition, suggesting the potential of retinal imaging as part of early Alzheimer’s testing.
Visit www.alz.org for more information about these studies and others.
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