New tool to help predict dementia in those with type 2 diabetes

Posted under Blog on August 23rd, 2013 by Editorial Team / No Comments

A new tool to help predict the risk of dementia in people with type 2 diabetes has been developed in the US.

The research team, from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in California, analysed the medical records of almost 30,000 people over the age of 60 with type 2 diabetes. The researchers recorded whether patients were diagnosed with dementia within 10 years of their entry into the study, with 17 per cent of the participants developing dementia during this period.

The team identified age, education, and six different diabetes-related health complications as the most important risk factors. The researchers incorporated them into a scoring system to be used to help doctors to spot those most at risk of developing dementia

Commenting on the research, Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at the Alzheimer’s Society, said, “'People with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of developing dementia, but there are lots of related factors that can influence that risk. This tool could help doctors assess who may be most likely to develop the condition, and so monitor them for any changes in their memory and thinking to enable timely support, care and treatment.

“There is also the possibility that it may be useful in identifying people who could participate in research studies. With limited treatments available it is vital that we continue to find ways to support research aimed at developing new ways to care for, treat or prevent dementia.”

The study is published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Tags: alzheimer's research, Alzheimer's society, early detection of Alzheimer's

A test to identify famous faces may help spot early dementia

Posted under Uncategorized on August 14th, 2013 by Editorial Team / No Comments

A new study suggests that asking patients to identify pictures of famous people may help spot early dementia.

A study published in the journal Neurology found that people with early onset primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a rare form of dementia, found it difficult to identify 20 black and white pictures of famous people such as Princess Diana, Elvis Presley and Bill Gates.

The research team found that people with early-onset dementia scored significantly worse in recognizing the faces and names of the 20 celebrities, correctly identifying 79% of the celebrities’ faces, and remembering only 46% of the corresponding names. People without dementia were able to identify 97% of the celebrities’ faces, and 93% of the corresponding names.

Dr Marie Janson of Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “It's important to be able to give an accurate diagnosis for people with dementia so they can gain access to the right care and treatments, but the different forms of dementia can be difficult to identify.”

She continued: “While this test is not yet ready to be used as a widespread tool for diagnosis, this study suggests that assessments of face recognition could be useful for helping to detect primary progressive aphasia.”

“These results suggest that the test used in this study could help shed light on the specific cognitive problems experienced by people with this rare form of dementia.”

One of the researchers on the study, Tamar Gefen, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said: “These tests also differentiate between recognizing a face and actually naming it, which can help identify the specific type of cognitive impairment.”

“In addition to its practical value in helping us identify people with early dementia, this test may also help us understand how the brain works to remember and retrieve its knowledge of words and objects.”

It’s hoped that research such as this will improve understanding of the early stages of dementia, and allow researchers to fine-tune methods for detecting the early symptoms.

Tags: alzheimer's research, brain training, cognitive research, early symptoms of Alzheimer's, early symptoms of dementia, image recognition



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