Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Good news on Dementia care and treatment

I am increasingly impressed with reports of innovative research into treatment of dementia: researchers say a new drug has shown some promise in patients with mild dementia, and might be yet more effective if given to those at risk of disease long before they show any symptoms. The papers have reported the findings of Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, who said scientists were “full of hope” that a breakthrough in drug therapy to prevent dementia could come within five years.

If further trials on the drug succeed, it could mean that those with a family history of dementia are given monthly injections of the drug a decade before any signs of disease show - in the same way that millions of people now take statins to ward off heart disease, he said. The world is really focusing on demnetia care, with the G8 summit next week on dementia, and the department of health, charities and support organisations that we have in the North East are playing their part.

Dr Karran said trials have suggested that a drug called solamezumab may delay the onset of disease, halting problems with brain function and behaviour in those with mild dementia; analysis examined the impact of the drug on those with mild dementia and researchers found it had an effect both on their daily behaviour and the functioning of their brain and memory.

Now researchers in the US are developing these trials - which if they work would lead to a likely preemptive prescription. The reality is that changes in the brain associated with dementia occur as far as a decade before symptoms are shown. Noone wants to hail a false dawn but this is defintely good news. It is also a good time to record the amazing work done by our many charities locally from Age UK to the work of the Dementia Friends.
I have heard great reports of the work that the Tynedale Alzheimers Support group do and they can be contacted locally at:
Office 4, Hexham and Tynedale Community Centre,  Gilesgate, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 3NP
Tel: 01434 607 318; Email:
and anyone concerned should contact them as a first point of reference. All of us will have to deal with this illness in some way or form and greater knowledge and support is a great start.

More details on this story here: