Trending Clinical Topics for August 2018

Ryan Syrek

Disclosures

August 31, 2018

Trending Clinical Topic of the Week (August 4-10): Alzheimer Disease

From new guidelines to studies on potential associations and treatments, ample amounts of news helped make Alzheimer disease this week's top search term. Initially, the Alzheimer's Association released clinical practice guidelines for the evaluation of cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer disease. In the first US national guidelines aimed at multiple specialties, the 20 consensus recommendations provide a structure for timely, multitiered evaluation in patients with cognitive, behavioral, or functional changes thought to be a result of Alzheimer disease or related dementias.

In terms of investigating the etiology of Alzheimer disease, a new study found further evidence that the gut microbiome may play a role. Specifically, researchers found an association between bile acids and Alzheimer disease–related structural and functional neuroimaging biomarkers, as well as cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of amyloid-beta and tau. A separate study revealed positive results for patients with early-stage Alzheimer disease who were treated with an anti-amyloid agent, a high dose of BAN2401. Although experts are calling for caution, the phase 2 study demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful slower decline in cognition and function at 18 months.

In further treatment news, a synthetic cannabinoid was found to significantly reduce agitation in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer disease. Because as many as half of patients with the condition will experience agitation at some point during their illness, this potential treatment option is welcomed news. Another study, presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2018, reported that antihypertensive therapy to lower elevated blood pressure decreases the risk for dementia and Alzheimer disease in older adults. Researchers and clinicians around the world continue to tackle this challenging condition on various fronts, resulting in this week's trending clinical topic.

For more information on Alzheimer disease, read here.

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