FDA Warns 17 Companies About Illegal Alzheimer’s Disease Products

A number of warning/advisory letters have been issued to 17 companies for selling illegal products that claim to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease and other serious conditions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

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The agency said it posted 12 warning letters and five online advisory letters to U.S. and foreign companies illegally selling more than 58 products, many of which are marketed as dietary supplements.

The products — which include tablets, capsules and oils and are often sold on websites and social media — have not been reviewed by the FDA and may be ineffective, unsafe and could prevent a person from seeking an appropriate diagnosis and treatment, according to the FDA

Education No Match Against Alzheimer’s

News Picture: Education No Match Against Alzheimer'sBy Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — There are plenty of good reasons to seek a higher education, but avoiding Alzheimer’s disease probably isn’t one of them, new research suggests.

The study found that a person’s level of education wasn’t related to the onset of memory and thinking (“cognitive”) troubles, or the rate at which dementia progressed.

“Education is related to cognitive growth in early life, but it wasn’t associated with cognitive change as you age. What’s more important is what you’re doing now, than what you did 40 or 50 years ago,” explained study author Robert Wilson. He’s a neuropsychologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Could Gut Bacteria Be Linked to Dementia Risk?

News Picture: Could Gut Bacteria Be Linked to Dementia Risk?By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

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THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — People with dementia show a different makeup in the bacteria dwelling in their guts, a preliminary study finds — raising questions about whether the “bugs” play some role in the brain disease.

Researchers in Japan found that compared with dementia-free older adults, those with the disease typically had a very different gut “microbiome.” The term refers to the trillions of bacteria and other microbes dwelling in the digestive system.

Plunging Temperatures a Threat to People With Alzheimer’s

News Picture: Plunging Temperatures a Threat to People With Alzheimer's

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The polar vortex that has enveloped much of the United States this week poses a special danger to people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

“This type of weather can be hazardous for everyone, but even more so for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease, who may have difficulty noticing temperature and weather changes or knowing who to call for help,” said Charles Fuschillo Jr., CEO and president of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Can Strict Blood Pressure Control Lower Dementia Risk?

News Picture: Can Strict Blood Pressure Control Lower Dementia Risk?By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

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TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Tight control of your blood pressure won’t necessarily spare you from full-blown dementia, a new trial concludes.

But it might lower the risk of slight declines in thinking and memory, a condition known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the researchers added.

The clinical trial is the “first study in history to show that any intervention can reduce your risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, an early form of dementia,” said lead researcher Dr. Jeff Williamson. He is a professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Gum Disease Bacteria Found in Brains of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Gum disease bacteria may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say.

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They studied dead and living patients with diagnosed and suspected Alzheimer’s and found bacteria associated with chronic gum disease in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, BBC News reported.

Tests on mice confirmed the bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis could migrate from the mouth to the brain and that a toxic protein they secrete (gingipain) destroyed brain neurons.

The bacteria also boosted production of amyloid beta, a component of brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s, BBC News reported.

Health Tip: Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Early

(HealthDay News) — If a loved one has symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, he or she should visit a doctor for a formal evaluation.

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It may be easier to control the disease if it’s diagnosed early, the Alzheimer’s Association says.

Here is the association’s list of other potential benefits of early diagnosis:

  • Better access to treatment options.
  • Possible participation in a clinical trial.
  • More time to improve health concerns, such as obesity and high blood pressure.
  • More time to spend with family and planning for the future.

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Blood Test Might Yield Early Warning of Alzheimer’s

News Picture: Blood Test Might Yield Early Warning of Alzheimer's

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TUESDAY, Jan. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Leaky blood vessels in the brain may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say.

They followed 161 older adults for five years and found that those with the most severe memory declines had the greatest leakage in their brain’s blood vessels, regardless of whether the Alzheimer’s-related proteins amyloid and tau were present.

The findings could help with earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and suggest a new drug target for slowing down or preventing the disease, according to the researchers from the University of Southern California.

Frailty a Risk Factor for Dementia

News Picture: Frailty a Risk Factor for Dementia

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FRIDAY, Jan. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Frailty is associated with a higher risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and its crippling symptoms, a new study shows.

“By reducing an individual’s physiological reserve, frailty could trigger the clinical expression of dementia when it might remain asymptomatic in someone who is not frail,” said study leader Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

“This indicates that a ‘frail brain’ might be more susceptible to neurological problems like dementia as it is less able to cope with the pathological burden,” he added.

Keep Moving to Keep Brain Sharp in Old Age

News Picture: Keep Moving to Keep Brain Sharp in Old AgeBy Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Staying active in old age may help preserve your memory and thinking skills, a new study suggests.

In fact, older people who were physically active kept their minds sharp, even if their brains showed signs of lesions or other markers linked to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, researchers found.

“Physical activity may provide cognitive reserve” that helps preserve the brain even in the face of dementia, said lead researcher Dr. Aron Buchman. He’s professor of neurology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.