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New studies reinforce Education and Cognitive Reserve –instead of drugs targeting beta amyloid– as most promising avenue to prolong cognitive health and reduce dementia risk

dementia-progressionDemen­tia Risk Declines, And Edu­ca­tion May Be One Rea­son Why (NPR):

Some encour­ag­ing news in the bat­tle against Alzheimer’s dis­ease and oth­er forms of demen­tia: The rate at which old­er Amer­i­cans are get­ting these con­di­tions is declin­ing. That’s accord­ing to a study pub­lished Mon­day in JAMA Inter­nal Med­i­cine. Researchers say one rea­son for the improved out­look is an increase in edu­ca­tion.

The study used data gath­ered in two snap­shots, one in 2000 and anoth­er in 2012, that each looked at more than 10,000 Amer­i­cans who were at least 65 years old. In the first snap­shot, 11.6 per­cent of them had some form of demen­tia. In the sec­ond snap­shot, it was 8.8 per­cent…

Edu­ca­tion can not only change the brain, it can change your whole life, says Haa­ga.

It affects what kind of work you do, of course. It also affects who your friends are, who you’re mar­ried to, whether you’re mar­ried. All aspects of life are affect­ed by edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment,” he says…

But while the risk of demen­tia is declin­ing, the num­ber of cas­es is still expect­ed to rise. That’s because the pop­u­la­tion of old­er adults in this coun­try is increas­ing. The num­ber of peo­ple 65 and old­er is expect­ed to near­ly dou­ble by 2050.”

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Lil­ly Alzheimer’s Drug Fails to Slow Mem­o­ry Loss, Shares Plunge (Fox Busi­ness):

Eli Lilly’s exper­i­men­tal drug failed to slow loss of cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty in patients with mild Alzheimer’s dis­ease in a large tri­al, the com­pa­ny said on Wednes­day, a major set­back for the U.S. drug­mak­er and mil­lions of peo­ple with the mem­o­ry-rob­bing disease…The infused drug works by bind­ing in the blood­stream to a pro­tein called beta amy­loid, which are believed to cause tox­ic brain plaques that are con­sid­ered a hall­mark of Alzheimer’s.

Lil­ly said on Wednes­day that patients treat­ed with solanezum­ab did not expe­ri­ence a sig­nif­i­cant­ly greater slow­ing in cog­ni­tive decline than those giv­en place­bos, as mea­sured by a wide­ly used scale called ADAS-Cog14.”

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