When we are stressed, our blood pressure rises as a result of our heart beating faster, and the levels of cortisol in our blood stream also increase.
Dr Nima Kivipelto and his colleagues from the University of Kuopio in Finland found that patients with both high blood pressure and high cortisol levels were more than three times as likely to develop Alzheimer's Disease than patients without these symptoms. In patients with either high blood pressure or high cortisol levels, the risk was more than twice as likely.
Experts believe that once cortisol enters the brain it starts to kill off brain cells, leading to Alzheimer's. This suggests that stress is one of the largest causes of the condition. In fact, cases of Alzheimer's in the United States are now starting to appear in people in their forties and fifties - much younger than the expected age group to be affected by Alzheimer's.
Too much tossing and turning could be a sign of trouble to come.
Restless nights may signal the onset of Alzheimer’s disease years before memory loss .
Deaths from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia have increased 68% from 2000 to 2010, according to the report being released today by the Alzheimer's Association, an advocacy group. Meanwhile, deaths from heart disease, HIV/AIDS and stroke have declined. The numbers are taken from Medicare and Medicaid reports.
The report says dementia is the second-largest contributor to death, after heart failure. Other findings:
Payments for health care, long-term care, and hospice care are expected to increase from $203 billion to $1.2 trillion by 2050 for patients ages 65 and older.
Medicare costs for an older person with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia are nearly three times higher than for seniors without dementia. Medicaid payments are 19 times higher. The stress on caregivers is estimated to result in the more than $9 billion in increased health care costs.
The number of people with Alzheimer's disease is expected to rise from 5.2 million to 13.8 million by 2050, putting an increasing burden on medical costs and caregivers.
Megan McArdle New FDA Proposal May Someday Save Your Brain It's hard to test Alzheimers Drugs. But the FDA is going to make it a little easier. Instead of the standard 8-10 years of testing, the FDA is
going to use performance on cognitive tests to evaluate drugs tested on early stage Alzheimer's patients, rather than "impairment of everyday function". Which is to say, you no longer have to stick a very early-stage Alzheimer's patient in a trial and wait for the years that it would ordinarily take them to develop serious impairment. Now you can look for earlier, more subtle signs, speeding the approval process up.Posted by Jill Fallon at March 19, 2013 2:41 PM | Permalink
This does elevate the risk that we'll end up with a few drugs of dubious efficacy, or that don't prevent the most troublesome ravages of the disease. On the other hand, given just how awful Alzheimers is, this strikes me as the right choice. Better to risk approving a less-effective drug than take the chance of missing one that is effective . . . and thereby losing more and more minds to the ravages of Alzheimers.