AAIC showcases global dementia initiatives

pic of Fingers slide

The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) is one of the world’s largest annual forums focussing on the latest research discoveries in dementia prevention, treatment, improved diagnosis, and care.

Held in Chicago on July 22-26, AAIC 2018 convened more than 5,100 leading experts and researchers from around the world and featured more than 2,500 scientific presentations.

New research in treatment of dementia was reported. The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) Memory and Cognition IN Decreased Hypertension (SPRINT MIND) study examined whether treating for the lower blood pressure target reduces the risk of developing dementia and/or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

In a randomised control trail of 9,361 hypertensive older adults researchers found a statistically significant 19 percent lower rate of new cases of MCI in the intensive blood pressure treatment group.

With no new drugs approved for use to treat Alzheimer’s disease in the past 14 years there is always much interest in new developments in this area. A major study presented at AAIC found that BAN2401, an anti-amyloid antibody, was successful in slowing the progression of the disease and reducing amyloid in 856 patients with early Alzheimer’s.

After 18 months of treatment, those receiving the highest dose showed an 81 per cent reduction in amyloid build up and 30 per cent improvement in cognition. These studies indicate that amyloid remains an important therapeutic target to pursue in Alzheimer’s disease. Find out more about the study here.

There seemed to be consensus in many of the research studies presented that there may need to be combination therapies in the future that may target amyloid, tau, or the immune system of the brain, as well as other approaches to potential treatments that address multiple aspects of the disease, and include both drug and lifestyle interventions.

Professor Miia Kivipelto, Academic Geriatrician at Karolinska Institutet, Center for Alzheimer Research, gave a plenary lecture “Multidomain Intervention to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Dementia”, which highlighted the recently launched the World Wide Fingers initiative.

It is an interdisciplinary network to share data and plan joint initiatives for the prevention of cognitive impairmentThe consortium involves five projects, FINGER (Finland), U.S. POINTER (USA), SINGER (Sweden), MIND-AD (Europe) and MYB TRIAL (Australia).

Maintain Your Brian (MYB), led by Professor Henry Brodaty and Dr Megan Heffernan aims to determine the efficacy of a multi-modal targeted intervention to reduce the rate of cognitive decline and in the long-term to delay the onset of dementia.

The online intervention includes advice in areas such as exercise, computerised cognitive training, diet, stopping smoking and socialisation starting with internet buddies and virtual groups.

An acknowledgement of the importance of research in the care space has been the recent introduction of the Dementia Care Research and Practice sessions.

These sessions were of particular interest and featured presentations on the use of technology in dementia care, community care, improving dementia care through staff training, interprofessional education and person-centred care. It was encouraging to hear these presentations and acknowledge the influence that CDPC outcomes are having in all these areas.

Conference website https://www.alz.org/aaic/about/chicago.asp

AAIC opening

AAIC opening

Dr Maria Carillo

Alzheimer's Assoiciation Chief Scientist, Dr Maria Carillo

pic of poster display from above

Each day of AAIC thre were 400 different posters on display

AAIC slide

Slide with global dementia statistics