Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Number Of Patients With Dementia On The Rise

Date:
July 13, 2009
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
By the year 2050, about 30 million Americans are expected to suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Experts in the field are trying to determine if sophisticated imaging equipment can help predict the development of the disease.

PET, or positron emission tomography, helps doctors predict Alzheimer's disease.
Credit: University of Michigan Health System

By the year 2050, about 30 million Americans are expected to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Experts in the field are trying to determine if sophisticated imaging equipment can help predict the development of the disease.

At 81, Alberta Sabin’s mind is not as sharp as it used to be, and she knows it. She frequently misplaces common items, forgets names and appointments, some of the most frustrating aspects of memory loss, she says.

“I had been looking for my cell phone for three days and would you believe I found it laying on the counter in plain sight?,” Sabin says. “There it was and I thought why didn’t I see it before?”

It is that frustration that motivated Sabin to participate in U-M sponsored research designed to better diagnose and treat dementia before it escalates.

Sabin is one of millions of Americans who experience memory loss and may eventually be diagnosed with dementia.

“This is an explosive disease,” says Sid Gilman, M.D., director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at University of Michigan Health System, who conducts research with Sabin and others in her community. “It’s a horrible disease that robs people of their humanity. They forget their families and friends.”

Roughly 50 percent of people who reach 85 will become demented, according to studies conducted by investigators at Rush Medical Center in Chicago.

By age 100, the number spikes to 60 percent. Of those who develop dementia, roughly 60 percent will prove to have Alzheimer’s disease. It’s predicted that the current number of patients with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States is roughly 5 million. By the year 2050, it will grow to about 30 million, presenting a significant financial burden to the healthcare system.

Gilman and other researchers at the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (MADRC), have a keen interest in patients like Sabin. The center first received grant support from the National Institutes of Health in 1989 and has continued to receive funding since.

Researchers at the MADRC have so far studied 80 patients in a project that has been going on for four years on the diagnosis of Alzheimer's at the earliest sign of cognitive dysfunction. Researchers would ultimately like to evaluate 120.

One of the goals of the research is to determine the best tool for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease: PET scans or clinical evaluations. In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, there are other possible diagnoses with early onset cognitive impairment, including multiple strokes, frontotemporal dementia, corticobasal degeneration, and the cognitive disorder associated with Parkinson’s disease, which is termed dementia with Lewy bodies.

“The earliest possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease would be to the patient’s greatest advantage,” Gilman says.

PET, or positron emission tomography, is an imaging study that allows doctors to evaluate the use of certain substances by the brain. Normally, the brain uses glucose as a fuel. Using PET scans, doctors can image the amount of glucose used by the brain to determine whether there’s a difference in brain use by the frontal lobe, temporal lobe or the parietal lobe.

PET gives the ability to make predictions as to those individuals who will go on from mild impairment of memory to developing Alzheimer’s disease. These patients may then qualify to participate in clinical trials for medications that treat Alzheimer’s. Studies with glucose are being supplemented by PET scans that can image beta-amyloid, one of the abnormal proteins in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.

Sabin, whose mother and grandmother had dementia, is participating in U-M research that will help researchers diagnose and treat the illness earlier in life.

“I have trouble remembering names and the most frustrating is when they are names of people I know really well, I just can’t bring the name to the surface,” Sabin says.

“I felt I needed to do this because with my family history,” Sabin says. “I felt studies I was participating in would help other people so that they won’t have to go through what I did with my own relatives.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Number Of Patients With Dementia On The Rise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706150628.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2009, July 13). Number Of Patients With Dementia On The Rise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706150628.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Number Of Patients With Dementia On The Rise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706150628.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins