Source: TapIntoNet NJ
“There is great progress in Alzheimer’s and dementia research,” says Cheryl Ricci-Francione, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter. “At this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, we gained insights into treatment, early and accurate diagnosis, and our understanding of risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”
Advances in treatment offer even more hope. Data by Eli Lilly from the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 2 Phase 3 clinical trial of the drug donanemab found that it significantly slowed cognitive and functional decline in people with early symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease. The company has submitted this data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with a decision expected by the end of the year.
A new report published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, reveals that Essex, Mercer, Burlington, Bergen, and Atlantic counties are among those with the highest prevalence of people living with Alzheimer’s in New Jersey.
Volunteering later in life may promote a healthy brain. A study of an ethnic and racially diverse population of older adults found that volunteering was associated with better baseline scores on tests of memory, thinking and planning.
Advancements in blood tests for Alzheimer’s. Researchers found a simple, finger prick blood test shows promise in the ability to detect markers of Alzheimer’s using a single drop of blood. If validated, this test could offer a quick, noninvasive and cost-effective option that is simple enough to be performed independently.
Chronic constipation may be a factor. A new report shows individuals with bowel movements every three days or more had significantly worse cognition, equivalent to three years more of chronological cognitive aging, than those with healthy bowel movement patterns.
Opioid use is associated with increased death in people with dementia. Researchers found new opioid use in older adults with dementia is associated with a significantly increased risk of death, including an eleven-fold increase in the first two weeks.
And according to Darina Petrovsky, PhD, RN, of the Rutgers Institute for Health, Rutgers University School of Nursing, and the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter, “Music-based interventions have long been used for memory disorders. Research is beginning to uncover how music activates different areas of the brain and contribute to person’s well-being.”
The Alzheimer’s Association is available with information and support for families as they navigate the disease and related research. For more information, visit ALZ.org or call their 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.