Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Benefits of treating behavioral, functional problems caused by Alzheimer’s disease

08.01.2003


A class of drugs known as cholinesterase inhibitors has a significant impact on behavioral problems and the ability to perform everyday tasks in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and UCSF.



The study, an analysis of data from multiple small studies, appears in the January 8, 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Known as a meta-analysis, the study applied sophisticated statistical methods to data from 29 trials that involved the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) with cholinesterase inhibitors (ChIs).

People with AD can suffer cognitive, behavioral or functional difficulties. ChIs have been previously shown to effectively treat cognitive difficulties such as memory loss, disorientation and loss of language skills, said Kristine Yaffe, MD, Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry at the SFVAMC and UCSF assistant professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology and biostatistics.


“Until now, the jury has been out on whether these drugs really worked for behavioral and functional symptoms,” said Yaffe, senior author of the JAMA article.

The current analysis revealed that patients treated with ChIs scored slightly higher on standard tests used to assess behavioral and functional status in patients with mild to moderate AD. These kinds of small, statistically significant increases in scores often translate into large impacts on behavior-related health problems, Yaffe said.

Approximately 4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disorder that leads to varying degrees of dementia and for which there is currently no cure. The deterioration of the brain characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease most often results in cognitive difficulties, such as memory loss.

About half the people suffering from the disease experience behavioral problems that can include changes in their personality, agitation, anxiety, delusions or hallucinations. Functional difficulties—such as the ability to balance a checkbook, shop for groceries or perform simple domestic tasks—are key features of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The noted improvement may or may not be the result of improved cognitive function, Yaffe said.

According to Yaffe, participants in the studies done to date didn’t necessarily exhibit symptoms in all three categories of problems associated with AD. She said clinical trials that specifically enroll people with behavioral problems are needed to further resolve the issues associated with the use of the drugs.

Long-term research is also needed to determine the effects of these drugs on both patients and their caregivers during the progression of the disease. “We need to know how the small effects of the drugs translate into long-term benefits, such as improvements in quality of life for patients and decreases in burdens to caregivers,” Yaffe said.

Camille Mojica Rey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>