Health and Aging

Alzheimer's Disease

NIH supports new studies to find Alzheimer’s biomarkers in Down syndrome

The National Institutes of Health has launched a new initiative to identify biomarkers and track the progression of Alzheimer’s in people with Down syndrome. Many people with Down syndrome have Alzheimer’s-related brain changes in their 30s that can lead to dementia in their 50s and 60s. Little is known about how the disease progresses in this vulnerable group.

Health care costs for dementia found greater than for any other disease

In the last five years of life, total health care spending for people with dementia was more than a quarter-million dollars per person, some 57 percent greater than costs associated with death from other diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The new analysis, appearing in the Oct. 27, 2015, online issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, estimates that total health care spending was $287,000 for those with probable dementia and $183,000 for other Medicare beneficiaries in the study.

Mixed pathologies likely cause dementia in the oldest-old

The brains of people who live to age 90 and older—the oldest-old—usually have a mix of pathologies associated with dementia. Alzheimer’s disease-related brain changes are the most common, but other pathologies often found at autopsy include infarcts, Lewy bodies, hippocampal sclerosis, and white-matter disease. For the first time, researchers examined the relationship between the number of pathologies found at autopsy and the severity of dementia in the oldest-old.

NIH summit delivers recommendations to transform Alzheimer’s disease research

The National Institutes of Health released recommendations today that provide a framework for a bold and transformative Alzheimer’s disease research agenda.

Read latest Connections newsletter for Alzheimer’s research news

The Spring 2015 issue of Connections, the e-newsletter from NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center, is now available!

In the latest issue:

Health professionals: Find Alzheimer’s and dementia resources

Do you work with patients or clients with cognitive impairment? Visit our new online portal for free clinical practice tools, training materials, and other resources for physicians, nurses, social workers, and other professionals.

You’ll find:

Find information about volunteering for Alzheimer's clinical trials and studies

Researchers are making great advances in identifying potential new ways to help diagnose, treat, and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease. But it will take many people, including older adults, volunteering for research studies and trials to help find the answers. Find out what you can do. Visit our new webpage—Volunteer for Alzheimer’s Research—to:

Physical activity associated with fewer aging brain-related movement problems

Age-related brain lesions known as white matter hyperintensities (WMH) have been linked to movement problems and disabilities in late life. A recent study suggests that physically active older people may have fewer movement problems caused by WMH. The study, supported in part by NIA, was published online March 11, 2015, in Neurology.

NIH-led effort launches Big Data portal for Alzheimer’s drug discovery

A National Institutes of Health-led public-private partnership to transform and accelerate drug development achieved a significant milestone today with the launch of a new Alzheimer’s Big Data portal—including delivery of the first wave of data—for use by the research community. The new data sharing and analysis resource is part of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), an unprecedented venture bringing together NIH, the U.S.

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