Research breakthroughs as links established with depression and vitamin E
Taking vitamin E could help lengthen the lives of people with Alzheimer's.
According to a study carried out at Baylor College of Medicine, people who took vitamin E, with or without an Alzheimer's drug, were 26% less likely to die than people who did not.
Scientists also found that vitamin E together with a cholinesterase inhibitor may be more beneficial than taking either agent alone, though more research is needed to find why this is.
Dr Valory Pavlik, author of the study, said: "Vitamin E has previously been shown to delay the progression of moderately severe Alzheimer's disease. Now, we've been able to show that vitamin E appears to increase the survival time of Alzheimer's patients as well."
The study looked at 847 people with Alzheimer's for an average of five years. About two-thirds of the participants took 1,000 international units of vitamin E twice a day along with the cholinesterase inhibitor.
Another study has found a link between Alzheimer's and depression. The study, conducted at the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, showed people who had experienced depression were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop the disease than those who had never been depressed.
The report also revealed that those who had experienced depression before the age of 60 were nearly four times more likely to develop Alzheimer's than those who had not.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, affecting around 417,000 people in the UK.
A HEALTHY BODY EQUALS A HEALTHY MIND
Heavy smoking and drinking increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
A US study found heavy drinkers developed Alzheimer's 4.8 years earlier than those who were not heavy drinkers, while heavy smokers developed the disease 2.3 years before their non-heavy smoking counterparts.
The study also looked at the impact of a variant of the APOE gene which increases the risk of the disease. People with this gene who smoked and drank heavily developed Alzheimer's 8.5 years earlier than those with none of the aforementioned risk factors.
The study was authored by Dr Ranjan Duara of the Wien Centre for Alzheimer's disease at Mount Sinai medical centre in Miami Beach, Florida. It looked at 938 people aged 60 and older who had been diagnosed with possible or probable Alzheimer's disease.
The news that the ABI and British Medical Association (BMA) agreement on GP report (GPR) fees has broken down will usher in a period of uncertainty.
Lack of innovation investment in the UK insurance market has been highlighted by recognition of RGA's work in the US.
Protection business in 2012 and 2013 will be affected by events this year and some fundamental changes to the way customers policies are priced into the next. Richard Verdin explains.
Employee assistance programmes are in the spotlight due to a schizophrenic approach by government. But as Sue Weir points out, they are backed by solid research.
How will people buy insurance in future? Greg Becker visits the US for developments in online distribution.