Seven Reasons To Be Cheerful - Dementia Breakthroughs

Seven Reasons To Be Cheerful - Dementia Breakthroughs

Seven Reasons To Be Cheerful - Dementia Breakthroughs

The weather may be icy outside, as we dismantle our festive decorations, people may be forgiven for feeling deflated but there are still some things to celebrate. COVID-19 aside, there has been much to celebrate in the progress of combatting dementia and here are seven breakthroughs in recent months that are making a difference:

Jelly Drops

These are little raindrop-shaped sweets that are made up from 95% water and electrolytes which can help alleviate dehydration in older people. Invented by Lewis Hornby, whose grandmother had a penchant for sweets but, like many older people would often forget to drink enough water. This is especially so in anyone with a dementia or other disorder. These drops can stop serious dehydration which often leads to confusion and sometimes hospitalisation. These are now freely available - just click here for more information.

Jelly Drops - dehydration solution

Simple Blood Test to Diagnose Alzheimer's

Scientists have developed a blood test that can detect Alzheimer's disease with 95% accuracy. Previously, this was only possible with scans to the brain but this breakthrough means that it can be done quickly and with no need to add to hospital backlogs - especially good news with COVID-19 still a major issue. This may also help detect the disease earlier which enables early intervention to help stave off the effects for longer.

New Type of Dementia Discovered

Research has shown up a new form of dementia called LATE (Limbic-predominant age-associated TDP-43 encephalopathy). This is similar to Alzheimer's disease, in the way the brain is affected by the build-up of sticky proteins. This still happens with LATE, but by different proteins called TDP-43, which affect the hippocampus and disrupt memory in a similar way. Scientists have found that many people with Alzheimer's also have this other protein build up, but never realised until now. They are now working to discover more about this new protein and the role it plays in developing dementia.

Potential New Treatment

An anti-amyloid (sticky protein) drug called Aducanumab is undergoing approval by the US regulators. The drug is believed to help slow the progress of the protein and therefore halt symptoms of dementia. It is hoped that if approved, the drug might be able to help those in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's.

Launch of a New Research and Technology Centre

A new Alzheimer's Society 20 million pound centre is launched that is designed to develop technology that enables people with a dementia to continue living in their own homes. Over 850,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with a dementia and most would wish to stay at home and keep their independence where possible.

New Gene Therapy Research

Ongoing research funded by Alzheimer's Society alongside UK Dementia Research is looking at gene therapy. It is known that some types of dementia are inherited causing gene mutations, and new gene therapy could possibly be used to alleviate this.

Identifying Lifestyle Choices

Research has shown that the way we live can have an impact on preventing dementia. Things like reducing alcohol consumption, eating healthy foods, avoiding smoking and staying fit are believed to give us a better chance of avoiding the disease and helping us to live well.

To read the full article - click here.

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