Among the key findings of a novel analysis of Alzheimer's disease-related Medicare expenditures, is that the federal insurer faces particularly high payments for hospitalization during the period between when patients are first diagnosed and when they enter long-term care. A new study that tracked what Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD) costs Medicare during three distinct stages of patient care suggests that the government insurer could realize substantial savings through efforts to reduce the hospitalizations that occur before patients became permanent nursing home residents. Brown University experts collaborating with researchers from Pfizer Inc. analyzed millions of nursing home and Medicare patient data from 1999-2007 to determine that between the time patients were diagnosed with ADRD and the time that they entered a nursing home, Medicare spent, on average, $29, 743 per patient on ADRD-related hospitalizations.
The number of people globally with dementia is set to rise from its current 35.6 million estimate, to at least 115 million by the middle of the century, says the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO adds that by 2030, there will be at least 65 million people with dementia. 58% of people with dementia today are from low-to-middle-income nations. By 2050, these countries will have over 70% of all individuals with dementia. $604 billion are spent each year worldwide on treating and caring for individuals with dementia. This toll includes the provision of health and social care, as well as loss of income of the dementia patients and their caregivers. Many caregivers have to give up their jobs to look after a person with dementia. According to the report - "Dementia: a public health priority", published by WHO and Alzheimer's Disease International - there are currently only 8 countries that have an active national program to tackle dementia.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is now the sixth leading cause of death among Americans, affecting nearly 1 in 8 people over the age of 65. There is currently no treatment that alters the course of this disease. However, an increasing amount of evidence suggests that changes in the way the body handles iron and other metals like copper and zinc may start years before the onset of AD symptoms. A new study shows that reducing iron levels in blood plasma may protect the brain from changes related to AD. In the current study a group of investigators from led by Dr. Othman Ghribi, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, rabbits were fed a high-cholesterol diet which caused them to accumulate plaques of a small protein called beta-amyloid (AÎ ).
A new gene that causes early-onset of Alzheimer's disease has been discovered by the research team of Dominique Campion at the Insert unit 1079 "Genetics of cancer and neuropsychiatric diseases" in Rouen. The research scientists showed that in the families of 5 of 14 patients suffering from the disease, mutations were detected on the gene SORL1. This gene regulates the production of a peptide involved in Alzheimer's disease. The results of this study have been published in the review Molecular Psychiatry. Precise genetic mutations have been seen to play a part in early-onset forms of Alzheimer's disease. However, there is a sub-population of patients in whom there is no mutation of these genes. So how can these patients, in whom there are no pre-established mutations, be suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's?
One of the most frustrating challenges for some stroke patients can be the inability to find and speak words even if they know what they want to say. Speech therapy is laborious and can take months. New research is seeking to cut that time significantly, with the help of non-invasive brain stimulation. "Non-invasive brain stimulation can allow painless, inexpensive, and apparently safe method for cognitive improvement with with potential long term efficacy, " says Roi Cohen Kadosh of the University of Oxford. Recent results, presented this week at a meeting of cognitive neuroscientists in Chicago, offer exciting possibilities for improving variety of abilities - from speech to memory to numerical proficiency. A focus of many of these studies is tDCS - transcranial direct current stimulation.