Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More News on the Alzheimer's Front

Here’s today’s rundown of recent news from the international conference in Paris and research publications.

Lifestyle changes can help reduce Alzheimer’s. A new, theoretical analysis finds that about half of the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease are potentially changeable, and that reducing them could substantially decrease the number of new cases of disease worldwide. The study, presented at the International Alzheimer’s Association conference and published today in a medical journal, is the first known analysis that tries to quantify and compare how risk factors are associated with Alzheimer's.

For Alzheimer’s patients, antidepressants no better than placebos. Two antidepressants commonly prescribed to people with dementia appear to be no better than a sugar pill at easing the symptoms of depression in Alzheimer’s patients, according to a new study published today in the Lancet. Zoloft (sertraline) and Remeron (mirtazapine), which are both available as generics, also generated more—and more severe—side effects than placebo, leading the researchers to suggest that these and other antidepressants should be reserved for dementia patients whose depression fails to respond to more conservative treatments, such as psychotherapy.

Predicting Alzheimer’s: Would you want to know? This is a topic we’ve tackled on this blog before, but it was a major area of discussion in Paris. Nice Q&A on whether it’s good to know you have an incurable disease years before it hits its stride.

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