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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Nine out of 10 councils in the UK are failing to pay realistic prices to support older and disabled people in their own homes, the industry says.
The UK Home Care Association calculated the minimum price councils should be paying was £16.70 per hour, but the average was over £2 less.
Councils said they had been left with little choice given the squeeze on their finances by the government.
But the UKHCA said the situation was threatening the future of the market.
It warned agencies were struggling to recruit staff and maintain quality, noting growing numbers of organisations were handing back contracts to councils. For more information on this story visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37756433
A British supermarket is trialling a weekly ‘slow shopping’ session to help elderly or vulnerable people shop in a “safe” and relaxed environment.
It aims to make shopping easier for people with anxiety or mental illness, those who are elderly or have disabilities, and those with dementia. It offers dedicated times where staff are aware of the needs of shoppers and greet them before helping them shop.
There’s plenty not to love about being middle-aged. But by the time today’s forty- and fifty-somethings reach the age when they may develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, it’s likely we’ll know more about its early signs and probably have drugs to treat it.
Scientists have revealed that brain stimulation, not brain training, is essential in preventing cognitive decline. That means scrap Sudoku and learn a language!