Dementia Breakthrough 2017: New Alzheimer’s Treatments Offer Hope
There is new hope for the treatment of dementia on the horizon. Blood thinning medications such as warfarin were recently shown to reduce the risk of dementia in patients.
Anticoagulants Found to Reduce Risk of Dementia
A recent study carried out by Swedish researchers found that the more than 444,000 atrial fibrillation patients taking anticoagulants (AGs) to prevent blood clots at the beginning of the study had a 29% lower risk of developing dementia than those not receiving an AG.
Atrial fibrillation is a heart arrthymia that becomes more prevalent as people age. Patients with atrial fibrillation have a higher chance of having a stroke, which is why AGs are frequently prescribed in conjunction with the condition.
Patients who continued to take AGs were 48% less likely to develop dementia than patients who didn’t.
The results held true whether the AG prescribed was warfarin, a long-time standby drug to prevent blood clots, or newer-generation AGs.
Although the study was designed to look at atrial fibrillation patients, the authors of the study found that AGs are very likely to have a preventive effect on dementia.
Researchers believe that the drugs’ positive effect on dementia may be related to its anti-clotting properties. It lessens the risk that patients will develop the larger blood clots that can lead to a stroke. But it is possible that it also lessens the risk of patients developing smaller clots, which can escape medical notice because they have no immediate effects. Long term, though, these small clots can cause brain function to deteriorate, which manifests as dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is leading cause of dementia, which can impair the ability to look after oneself and to remember things. Alzheimer’s causes 93,541 deaths every year in the United States, making it the sixth leading cause of death.
Dementia Patients Are Disproportionately Represented in Nursing Homes
Because dementia patients often cannot look after themselves and need constant care, many of them end up in nursing homes and other facilities throughout the nation.
More than 50% of nursing home residents across the U.S., for example, have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementias, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of senior citizens using home health agencies, more than 31% have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Over thirty-nine percent of community care residential patients also have these conditions.
Unfortunately, however, patients with dementias are sometimes neglected or abused in nursing homes. They may be subject to physical abuse. They may be subject to psychological abuse. Signs may include bruising or other signs of injury, or withdrawal, distress and increased confusion.
Do You Need a Los Angeles Nursing Home Lawyer?
If you suspect that an elderly loved one in a nursing home or other care facility in southern California is being abused, know that help is possible. Ellis Injury Law has been litigating and investigating nursing home neglect and abuse for more than two decades. Let us help you.
Contact us today at 310-641-3335 for a consultation with an experienced Los Angeles nursing home abuse attorney at no cost to you.
Additional “Dementia Breakthrough Treatments” Resources:
- Sheldrick, Giles. “New Dementia Breakthrough: Blood-Thinning Drugs Slash Risk of Being Struck Down.” The Express. October 25, 2017. https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/870583/dementia-signs-symptoms-treatment-drug-warfarin-blood-protect-news
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alzheimer’s Disease. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/alzheimers.htm