|By PR Newswire||
|July 15, 2013 08:30 AM EDT||
-- Three other studies reported at AAIC 2013 illuminate Alzheimer's risk factors, point to potential new strategies for treatment, prevention
BOSTON, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Most kinds of cancer are associated with a significantly decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study of 3.5 million veterans reported today at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference® 2013 (AAIC® 2013) in Boston. In addition, the study suggested that chemotherapy treatment for almost all of those cancers conferred an additional decrease in Alzheimer's risk.
Three other researchers presented results of epidemiologic studies that uncovered risk factors and/or possible therapies for Alzheimer's disease. The results indicated that:
- Metformin, a medication for type 2 diabetes, may be linked with lower Alzheimer's risk among type 2 diabetes patients compared with other therapies.
- Older age at retirement appears to be associated with reduced Alzheimer's risk.
- Socioeconomic disparities may account for the previously observed increased risk of Alzheimer's among African Americans.
"With these large-cohort studies and others, we are beginning to see the outlines of a broad picture of Alzheimer's disease risk and prevention factors," said Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., vice president of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association.
"However, we need to know even more about what specific factors actually raise and lower risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer's. To do that, we need longer-term studies in larger and more diverse populations, and more research funding is required to make that happen. Alzheimer's research would benefit from its own version of the Framingham Study, which has taught us so very much about preventable risk factors for heart disease and stroke," Carrillo said.
"With funding of research being a critical need for progress, the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease must be fully implemented and the $100 million identified for Alzheimer's and dementia research this fiscal year needs to be funded," Carrillo concluded.
Cancer history and chemotherapy are associated with decreased risk of Alzheimer's
A growing body of evidence suggests a possible association of cancer with reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease; until now, whether the association differs between cancer types or is modified by cancer treatment is unknown.
Laura Frain, M.D., a geriatrician at VA Boston Healthcare System, and colleagues analyzed the health records of 3,499,378 veterans age 65 and older who were seen in the VA health care system between 1996 and 2011 and who were free of dementia at baseline. The objective was to evaluate the relationship between a history of 19 different cancers, cancer treatment and subsequent Alzheimer's disease.
Over a median follow-up of 5.65 years, 82,028 veterans were diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Twenty-four (24) percent of those veterans with Alzheimer's had a history of cancer, while 76 percent did not.
The researchers found that most types of cancer were associated with reduced Alzheimer's risk, ranging from 9 percent to 51 percent. Reduced risk was greatest among survivors of liver cancer (51 percent lower risk), cancer of the pancreas (44 percent), cancer of the esophagus (33 percent), myeloma (26 percent), lung cancer (25 percent) and leukemia (23 percent). Cancers that did not confer a reduced Alzheimer's risk, or were associated with an increased risk, included melanoma, prostate and colorectal cancers.
The researchers found no association between cancer history and reduced risk of any other typical age-related health outcome; in fact, cancer was associated with an increased risk of stroke, osteoarthritis, cataracts and macular degeneration. Most cancer survivors were also at increased risk for non-Alzheimer's dementia.
"Together, these findings indicate that the protective relationship between most cancers and Alzheimer's disease is not simply explained by increased mortality among cancer patients," said Frain. "More research is needed to determine if these results have therapeutic implications for Alzheimer's."
Among veterans with a cancer history, treatment with chemotherapy but not radiation reduced Alzheimer's risk by 20 to 45 percent, depending on cancer type, with the exception of prostate cancer.
"The potential protective effect of chemotherapy is supported by recent experimental studies," Frain observed. "The results of this study are interesting because they could help focus future research onto the specific pathways and treatment agents involved in the individual cancers that are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's. This could potentially open new therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's prevention and treatment."
Metformin is linked with lower dementia risk than other type 2 diabetes therapies
Type 2 diabetes doubles the risk of dementia. However, until recently, little research has been done to examine the association between type 2 diabetes treatments and dementia risk. Rachel Whitmer, Ph.D., and colleagues at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research studied a cohort of 14,891 type 2 diabetes patients age 55 and older who began diabetes therapy between October 1999 and November 2001. Only patients who started a single therapy (metformin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones (TZDs) or insulin) were included. The patients were followed for up to five years.
Patients initiating metformin, an insulin sensitizer, had a significantly reduced risk of developing dementia compared with patients on other diabetes therapies. Compared with those taking sulfonylureas, those initiating metformin had a 20 percent reduced risk of dementia, while those initiating TZD or insulin had no difference in risk.
"These results provide preliminary evidence that the benefits of insulin sensitizers may extend beyond glycemic control to neurocognitive health," said Whitmer. "Research in animals suggests that metformin may contribute to the creation of new brain cells and enhance spatial memory."
Trials are currently under way to evaluate metformin as a potential therapy for dementia and mild cognitive impairment, which is thought to be, in some cases, a precursor to Alzheimer's disease.
Older age at retirement is associated with reduced risk of dementia
Some research has suggested that intellectual stimulation and mental engagement throughout life may be protective against Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. In an analysis of health and insurance records of more than 429,000 self-employed workers in France, reported at AAIC 2013, Carole Dufouil, Ph.D., director of research in neuroepidemiology at INSERM (Institut National de la sante et de la recherche medicale) at the Bordeaux School of Public Health, and colleagues found that retirement at older age is associated with a reduced risk of dementia.
The researchers linked health and pension databases of self-employed workers who were living and retired as of December 31, 2010. Workers had been retired on average for more than 12 years. Prevalence of dementia in this group was 2.65 percent.
Analyses showed that the risk of being diagnosed with dementia was lower for each year of working longer (i.e., higher age at retirement) (hazard ratio of dementia was 0.968 (95 percent Confidence Interval = [0.962-0.973]). Even after excluding workers who had dementia diagnosed within the 5 years following retirement, the results remained unchanged and highly significant (p<0.0001).
"Our data show strong evidence of a significant decrease in the risk of developing dementia associated with older age at retirement, in line with the 'use it or lose it' hypothesis," said Dufouil. "The patterns were even stronger when we focused on more recent birth cohorts."
"Professional activity may be an important determinant of intellectual stimulation and mental engagement, which are thought to be potentially protective against dementia," observed Dufouil. "As countries around the world respond to the aging of their populations, our results highlight the importance of maintaining high levels of cognitive and social stimulation throughout work and retired life, and they emphasize the need for policies to help older individuals achieve cognitive and social engagement.
The study was also coordinated by the International Longevity Center-France (Head: Prof. Francoise Forette).
Socioeconomic disparities may explain higher Alzheimer's risk among African Americans
Alzheimer's disease and other dementias have been shown to be higher among older blacks in the United States than older whites; however, risk factors that might account for this difference have not been extensively studied.
Note: According to the Alzheimer's Association 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, older African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's and other dementias as older whites, and Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer's and other dementias as older whites.
Kristine Yaffe, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and colleagues sought to determine if differences in dementia rates by race existed among a cohort of community dwelling elders and whether any differences observed could be explained by socioeconomic status (SES) indicators (income, financial adequacy, education and literacy) and health-related factors.
The scientists evaluated dementia risk among 3,075 black and white elders (mean age 74.1 years) participating in the ongoing prospective Health, Aging and Body Composition Study who were free of dementia at baseline.
During 12 years of follow-up, 18.7 percent of participants were determined to have developed dementia, based on prescribed medications, hospital records and cognitive decline. In this population, African-Americans were 1.5 times more likely to develop dementia than whites (21.9 percent vs. 16.4 percent). However, after adjusting for socioeconomic factors including education level, literacy, income and financial adequacy, the researchers found that the difference in risk was no longer statistically significant.
"Our findings suggest that differences in socioeconomic factors may, in large part, explain racial and ethnic disparities in dementia rates," said Yaffe. "Future studies that investigate these disparities should take a broad range of socioeconomic factors into account."
Yaffe suggested that more studies are needed "to explore the potential benefits of improving socioeconomic risk factors as a way of reducing dementia rates."
(Disclosure: Dr. Yaffe is co-chair of the AAIC 2013 Program Committee.)
The Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world's largest conference of its kind, bringing together researchers from around the world to report and discuss groundbreaking research and information on the cause, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. As a part of the Alzheimer's Association's research program, AAIC serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital, collegial research community.
About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. Visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Oct. 22, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,812
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Oct. 22, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 761
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
Oct. 22, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 612
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Oct. 22, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 8,956
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Oct. 22, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 480
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
Oct. 22, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 969
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
Oct. 22, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,843
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Oct. 22, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,656
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Oct. 22, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,583
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
Oct. 22, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,442
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Oct. 22, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 652
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...
Oct. 22, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,245
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Oct. 22, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,894
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, will contrast how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He will show the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He will also have live demos of building immutable pipe...
Oct. 22, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,501
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, you'll learn about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how Docke...
Oct. 22, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,541