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Research with ‘remarkable’ results – News Space 4 January

Age Space’s Annabel James looks at the latest news and views:

We’re always a bit hesitant to buy into news reports of the latest “miracle” drug or treatment for dementia, but it is rather exciting that The Alzheimer’s Society is talking about an injection capable of halting the progress of Alzheimer’s which could be available to patients within a decade.

A series of recent breakthroughs in treatments that disrupt harmful genes has brought scientists to a “tipping point” in their fight against the disease.

The “remarkable” results of a recent trial which set out to silence the troublesome genes which regulate proteins in children with a rare spinal condition, has convinced scientists they could adopt the same approach in people at high risk of dementia. You can read the Daily Telegraph’s interview with Dr James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society here.

Despite no new drugs for dementia in 15 years, there are great strides towards new treatments. Here are a few of the past year’s highlights in Alzheimer’s Society research in 2018.


Life’s harder when you’re hard of hearing

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Older patients with age-related hearing loss have more symptoms of depression, according to a US study.

Researchers found that the greater the hearing loss, the greater the risk of having depressive symptoms in later life. The findings suggest that treatment of age-related hearing loss, which is often under-recognised and undertreated among the elderly, could be one way to head off depression.



It seems that fewer than half of people eligible for a NHS health check in England have taken up the offer, despite it being free to everyone over 40.

The routine check can pick up heart problems early and help to prevent dementia, plus highlight the need to stop smoking, according to NHS England. The check-up takes 20 minutes and is carried out by a GP or nurse. Have you had one? Did you know about it? Might be time to get ourselves checked out!

Wish you were here granny?

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Don’t all shout at once… we know it’s quite often the retired grandparents who jet off on lovely holidays while the rest of us have to trail into the office! But what do we think about the suggestion that families should take grandma and pa on holiday with them, from the minister responsible for tackling loneliness?

Mims Davies said British people could learn from how Mediterranean nations involve grandparents in their lives. Read more here

And finally…

A daily glass of small wine or half a pint of beer doesn’t appear harmful for older people with heart failure and actually helps them live longer, a new study has revealed.

The news is that over 65s who drink moderately live more than a year longer than those who give up the booze completely following a heart failure diagnosis, a new study has found. Cheers!