Health & Fit Dementia impacts women more and new approaches are needed

22:05  29 october  2019
22:05  29 october  2019 Source:   thehill.com

Study shows Apple devices in combo with apps could identify dementia

Study shows Apple devices in combo with apps could identify dementia Drugmaker Eli Lilly said on Thursday early results from a study suggest that Apple Inc devices, including the iPhone, in combination with digital apps could differentiate people with mild Alzheimer's disease dementia and those without symptoms. © Karl Tapales/Getty Images The study, tested in 113 participants over the age of 60, was conducted by Apple along with Eli Lilly and Evidation Health. The Apple devices were used along with the Beddit sleep monitoring device and digital apps in the study. The researchers looked at device usage data and app history of the study participants over 12 weeks.

Americans are living longer thanks to medical and public health advances and greater access to health care. If you're a 65-year-old man in the U.S., you can expect to live another 20 years. American women can expect to live even longer - to age 86.5.

Dementia impacts women more and new approaches are needed© Getty Images Dementia impacts women more and new approaches are needed

While this is good news for most of us, increased longevity also creates new challenges. After we turn 65, our risk of developing dementia doubles every five years. By age 85, nearly one in three of us will have the disease. The impact on women is even greater.

New Milken Institute research estimates that by 2020, roughly 4.7 million women in the U.S. will have dementia, accounting for nearly two-thirds of everyone living with the disease. Women often experience a double whammy. Not only are they more likely to get the disease, they are also more likely to take on most caregiving responsibilities for spouses, parents, in-laws and friends.

Middle-age hearing loss linked to dementia

Middle-age hearing loss linked to dementia Hearing loss in middle age is associated with higher odds of cognitive decline and dementia in later years, suggests a large study in Taiwan. © BrianAJackson/Getty Images Researchers tracked more than 16,000 men and women and found that a new diagnosis of hearing loss between ages 45 and 65 more than doubled the odds of a dementia diagnosis in the next dozen years. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Women caregivers are more likely to be impacted financially as they leave jobs or miss work to care for family members. Our analysis predicts that the economic costs of treatment, care and lost productivity due to women suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia will total $2.1 trillion by 2040, representing over 80 percent of the cumulative costs.

Communities of color face an even greater threat. Older African Americans have the highest risk of dementia, followed by American Indians/Alaska Natives and Latinos. This increased risk, coupled with income differences and cultural attitudes toward family caregiving, results in communities of color shouldering more direct care for people living with dementia than white populations.

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I've experienced firsthand the devastating impacts of Alzheimer's disease on families. My dad and his three siblings were diagnosed within a 10-year time frame. As in most families, the emotional and economic strains fell primarily on the women.

My Aunt Trudy, a Julliard-trained concert pianist, began showing signs of dementia in her early 70s. She had chosen her career over a family - as many women of her generation had to do. Trudy had no kids, husband, or much savings, so my family patched together a mix of paid and volunteer caregivers to provide her meals, rides, and companionship.

After it became too much of a strain on our finances, young families, and work lives, we had to place her in a nursing home paid for by Medicaid - a harrowing decision made by countless Americans every day. Aunt Trudy maintained her indomitable spirit until the end. When she could no longer speak, she could still play the piano by heart, to the delight of many who sang tunes beside her.

Why This New Dementia Study Is a Huge Hit

Why This New Dementia Study Is a Huge Hit Acadia Pharmaceuticals shares rose sharply early Monday after the firm announced that its late-stage dementia study met its primary endpoint. Specifically, the results come from Acadia’s Phase 3 Harmony study evaluating pimavanserin for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. © Provided by 24/7 Wall Street, LLC The study met its primary endpoint, demonstrating a highly statistically significant longer time to relapse of psychosis with pimavanserin compared to placebo in a planned interim efficacy analysis.

Unfortunately, 10 years since Aunt Trudy died, Alzheimer's is the only disease among the top-10 causes of death in the U.S. with no known cure. Recent Phase III drug trial failures this year represented a setback in research.

But thanks to increased National Institutes of Health funding to study Alzheimer's disease, researchers today understand better dementia's pathology. Perhaps most hopeful for those of us at high risk for dementia, emerging evidence shows that despite family history and personal genetics, lifestyle changes such as a diet, exercise, and better sleep can improve brain health.

Increased participation by women in clinical trials has helped us understand why more women than men have dementia. Researchers believed dementia is primarily connected to longer life expectancy. But new studies have linked it to biological differences, such as hormonal imbalances, that change brain chemistry.

With no cure in sight, we must double our efforts to reduce the risk and cost of dementia. At the Milken Institute, we work to solve significant global problems. That is why we are making recommendations to improve brain health, reduce gender and racial disparities, and ultimately change the trajectory of this devastating disease.

Dementia diagnoses may be late in women because sex difference: study

  Dementia diagnoses may be late in women because sex difference: study Women often perform better on verbal tests. So when they're used to diagnose cognitive declines that precede Alzheimer's, women may be under-diagnosed or diagnosed too late while men may be over-diagnosed or diagnosed too early, the study found. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Most importantly, we must spread awareness of how individuals, communities, and health professionals can improve cognitive function and brain health for all ages. If we can delay the onset of dementia by only five years, we can cut the incidence in half.

With more women working full-time and family size decreasing, we must increase efforts to create a dementia-capable workforce to effectively identify people with dementia, tailor services to meet their needs and those of their caregivers, and ensure those living with dementia get the right care at the right time. The high costs of care for Medicare beneficiaries with dementia are linked to avoidable hospitalizations, poor coordination across care teams, and ineffective care transitions.

We offer many more ideas in the new report, Reducing the Cost and Risk of Dementia: Recommendations to Improve Brain Health and Reduce Disparities. We are in a race against time. We want to ensure that all of us will be singing songs by heart and enjoying our family and friends as we age. To provide a better future for millions of Americans impacted by dementia, we must act now.

NoraSuper is senior director of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging. She previously was executive director of the White House Conference on Aging.

Gallery: 40 habits to reduce your risk of dementia after 40 (Best Life)

a group of people preparing food in a kitchen: You might feel silly, but unleashing your inner pop star and belting out some music while practicing your moves can make you feel years younger. “Simple acts like singing and dancing to your favorite music can keep you young,” Yoon says. “I listen and dance to a wide range of music, from ’70s music to pop. Singing strengthens muscles in the airway, which improves lung function and mental alertness by delivering more oxygen to the brain. Plus, it’s just so fun.”

Half of middle-aged Americans think they will develop dementia .
Many try to beat the odds with supplements like ginkgo biloba and vitamin E that aren't proven to help.Researchers examined data from the University of Michigan's 2018 National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA), a nationally representative survey of adults ages 50 to 80. Overall, 44.3% of respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to develop dementia, and 4.2% said they were very likely to develop dementia.

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