Joel Loiacono, Regional Director for Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, will give a presentation on this topic at the upcoming Central Washington Alzheimer’s & Dementia Conference. Click here for more information or to register.

AAIC-WA State Ch
Staff representatives from the Washington State Chapter at AAIC 2018 in Chicago.

The 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) was held in Chicago this past July. It was a record-breaking year for the event with over 5,900 scientists attending from 68 countries. New and exciting research was presented at the conference, making national headlines. Here is a quick summary of key findings:

The preliminary results of the SPRINT MIND Study provided the strongest evidence to date about reducing risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia through the treatment of high blood pressure. SPRINT is a randomized clinical trial with over 9,000 participants who were split into two treatment groups: one received a standard treatment for high blood pressure and one received a more intensive treatment. The group receiving a more intensive treatment had a 19% lower risk of developing MCI and 15% lower risk for developing MCI or dementia.

Treatment of non-cognitive symptoms of dementia
Agitation, including verbal or physical outbursts, emotional distress, restlessness and pacing, is one of the most common behavioral changes associated with Alzheimer’s, and can be a significant cause of caregiver stress. At AAIC, research was presented that showed nabilone — a synthetic cannabinoid — may be effective in treating agitation in people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s. Over the 14-week trial with 39 participants, agitation improved significantly in those taking nabilone compared to placebo. Marijuana is not currently approved by the FDA for the treatment or management of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, so further research is needed in this area.

BAN2401 drug trial results
Eisai Co., Ltd. and Biogen Inc. announced additional results at AAIC about a Phase II clinical trial for BAN 2401, an anti-amyloid antibody. At the highest dose tested, 81% of participants reverted from amyloid positive to amyloid negative, accompanied by a 30% reduction in the rate of cognitive decline. This is the second Alzheimer’s clinical trial that has demonstrated both clearance of amyloid from the brain and cognitive benefits; however, neither study was large enough to definitely demonstrate cognitive efficacy. Phase III clinical trials are needed.

Reproductive history and dementia risk
Research reported at AAIC 2018 investigated women’s reproductive history and how it impacts risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Key findings include:

  • Women in the study with three or more children had a 12% lower risk of dementia compared to women with one child.
  • Each additional report of a miscarriage was associated with a 9% increased risk of dementia, compared to women who reported no miscarriages.
  • Women who indicated having their first menstrual period at age 16 or older were at 31% greater risk than those who reported having their first period at 13 or younger.
  • Compared to women who experience natural menopause after age 45, those who experience natural menopause at 45 or younger were at 28% greater dementia risk.

To learn more about the research presented at this year’s conference, please visit the AAIC 2018 News Highlights page on the AAIC website.

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