Dementia causes strain on care system
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, latest figures reveal.
Last year, more than 61,000 people died of dementia – 11.6% of all recorded deaths.
The Office for National Statistics says the change is largely due to an ageing population.
People are living for longer and deaths from some other causes, including heart disease, have gone down.
Also, doctors have got better at diagnosing dementia and the condition is now given more weight on death certificates.
For decades, numerous attempts to find a drug that might slow the progress of the disease have failed. Without an effective drug treatment, doctors and scientists have pragmatically focused on treating people’s symptoms.
Recently, a new trial drug, aducanumab, has emerged that offers strong hope, particularly for those with mild symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Early trials show the drug works by reducing the build-up of amyloid, another protein implicated in the disease, which clumps together in plaques years before the tau forms tangles.
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