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Currently Browsing: The National Post

Months after promising Alzheimer’s drug declared a failure, new analysis suggests it was effective

Tara Bahrampour, The Washington Post (US), The National Post (Canada)

Seven months after clinical trials for a promising Alzheimer’s drug were halted and the treatment was declared a failure, a new analysis suggests it was actually effective, and the company that makes it plans to move forward in securing federal approval. The astonishing reversal on aducanumab, an antibody therapy which targets a protein called amyloid beta that builds up in the brain, comes after new data from the discontinued studies showed that at high doses the drug reduced cognitive decline in patients with early Alzheimer’s .“It could be a game-changer for the field,” said Rebecca Edelmayer, director of scientific engagement at the Alzheimer’s Association. “It could be one of the first disease-modifying therapies approved for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Read the rest here:
https://nationalpost.com/health/months-after-promising-alzheimers-drug-declared-a-failure-new-analysis-suggests-it-was-effective

Half of caregivers of loved ones with dementia experience distress: report

Sheryl Ubelacker, The Associated Press, The National Post

TORONTO — For the last five years, Catherine Kelly and her partner have been providing live-in care for her mother, who developed vascular dementia after suffering a stroke in 2008. As parents of two small children, being caregivers is a 24-7 labour of love — but one that can be exhausting and isolating, concedes Kelly. Her mother Isabel, now 81, has end-stage dementia, which has advanced to the point where she is essentially unable to speak or move her limbs. For the first four years, Kelly and her brother had shared the care of their mother, who had been able to travel back and forth between her daughter’s home in Ottawa and her son’s in Halifax every three to five months. “But we realized in 2012 that the dementia was progressing in a way that we knew that within a year she really needed to be in one place,” said Kelly. So later that year, she and partner Wayne Walsh moved to Harbour Main, N.L., bringing her mother to live with them in Isabel’s home province.

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https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/almost-half-of-caregivers-of-loved-ones-with-dementia-experience-distress-report&source=gmail&ust=1532010969520000&usg=AFQjCNHKAwwsgBk43cW7BjwUK3bmJ9d82Q

Prohibiting assisted dying does more harm than good

Wanda Morris, The National Post

Thanks to a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in 2015 and subsequent federal legislation, Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is now legal in Canada. While the legalization of assisted dying had overwhelming public support (84 per cent in favour) among both CARP members and the general public, many in palliative care, such as Nancy Macey, executive director of the Delta Hospice Society in B.C., have gone on record as saying it is undermining their ability to provide end-of-life care and want nothing to do with it.

Read the rest here:
https://nationalpost.com/health/seniors/grey-matters-prohibiting-assisted-dying-does-more-harm-than-good

When it comes to medication, less is more

Wanda Morris, The National Post

Unless we’ve been incredibly healthy, we’re all familiar with the side effects of medication. We may take a drug to relieve pain, itching or heart attack risks, and end up drowsy, pudgy and unable to operate heavy machinery. We typically accept those consequences as a small price for the relief of our original problem. But we may not realize that taking more than one drug at the same time – or taking supplements in addition to medication – leaves us at risk of side effects from the interactions between them. The consequences may be severe.

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https://nationalpost.com/health/seniors/grey-matters-when-it-comes-to-medication-less-is-more-2

New evidence that childhood viruses may play a role years later in Alzheimer’s disease

Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press, The National Post

WASHINGTON — Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a role in Alzheimer’s, scientists reported Thursday in a provocative study that promises to re-ignite some long-debated theories about what triggers the mind-robbing disease. The findings don’t prove viruses cause Alzheimer’s, nor do they suggest it’s contagious. But a team led by researchers at New York’s Mount Sinai Health System found that certain viruses — including two extremely common herpes viruses — affect the behaviour of genes involved in Alzheimer’s.

Read the rest here:
https://nationalpost.com/health/new-evidence-that-viruses-may-play-a-role-in-alzheimers

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