One year on from the launch of the Dementia Access Taskforce, Melody Paton Borchardt looks at how the work of the Dementia Access Taskforce is breaking through barriers for future treatments | Alzheimer’s Research UK
The Dementia Access Taskforce is a partnership which brings together charities, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, government and people impacted by dementia. The group works to ensure early and accurate diagnosis is available and to prepare so future treatments reach people quickly. Last year, the taskforce looked at the challenges future treatments for dementia might face in getting to people who need them.
- the potential cost
- the number of people with dementia
- the resources needed for people to access a new treatment on the NHS.
Over the last year, the group has identified possible barriers for future treatments and created a plan to develop solutions.
The group has three main areas of focus:
- Earlier and accurate diagnosis.
- Cost of treatments and how to measure their value.
- Impact on the health system.
Full article at Alzheimer’s Research UK
Read more about the Dementia Access Taskforce here.
46% of patients who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in Sweden live alone in their homes, in particular older women, researchers report | ScienceDaily
Swedish researchers report in an article published in the Journal of Alzheimer´s Disease that 46% of patients who are diagnosed with Alzheimer´s disease in Sweden live alone in their homes, in particular older women.
The patients who live alone do not receive the same extent of diagnostic investigations and anti-dementia treatment as those who are co-habiting. On the other hand, they were treated more frequently with antidepressants, antipsychotics and sedative drugs.
According to recent statistics, the number of older people who live alone in their homes, especially women, is increasing in high income countries. When an older person is affected by dementia, such as Alzheimer´s disease, they may not have a close relative living with them, which may complicate the course of the disease. Dementia affects their memory and later can lead to their dependency on caregivers.
Depression in older people is common, under-diagnosed, under-treated and attracts “therapeutic nihilism”, according to Professor Alistair Burns, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Dementia | OnMedica
Prof Burns say while one in five older people have clinical depression, “contrary to some popular and professional opinion, it is eminently treatable”. He wants clinicians to offer a wider range of treatments and therapies to target depression and anxiety which are both associated with increased risk of more serious physical and mental health problems.
“Treatments for depression in older people are largely the same as in younger people and there is high quality and convincing evidence that older people respond very well to interventions,”
While exercise is a “very effective” treatment for depression, Prof Burns cites the Health Survey for England which showed that only 18% of men and 19% of women aged 55-64 undertake the recommended amount of regular exercise, a figure falling to 10% and 2% for people aged 75-85.
Read the full news story here