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 Finding new clues to brain cancer treatment
21.02.2020 | Case Western Reserve University

nachricht UIC researchers find unique organ-specific signature profiles for blood vessel cells
18.02.2020 | University of Illinois at Chicago

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: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

NUI Galway highlights reproductive flexibility in hydractinia, a Galway bay jellyfish

24.02.2020 | Life Sciences

KIST researchers develop high-capacity EV battery materials that double driving range

24.02.2020 | Materials Sciences

How earthquakes deform gravity

24.02.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>