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  • Glasgow newspapers launch Think Dementia Hub for families

    Glasgow newspapers launch Think Dementia Hub for families

    20.02.20 Glasgow’s Herald and Times newspapers have launched a “Think Dementia Hub” to help families affected by the condition. Expert advice and top tips will feature on the hub, which will help enquirers with a wide range of issues like care, research, drug treatments and financial challenges. There will also be regular podcasts, including a dementia Q&A with Alzheimer Scotland and experts discussing the need for free advanced dementia care. Jim Pearson, policy and research director at Alzheimer Scotland, is quoted as saying: “We applaud The Herald and Times for bringing vital attention to dementia by supporting our Fair Dementia Care campaign and welcome the creation of their new Dementia Hub to help inform readers on all aspects of dementia. We look forward to supporting Think Dementia across 2020.”

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  • Artificial intelligence predicts Alzheimer's using routine medical records

    Artificial intelligence predicts Alzheimer's using routine medical records

    19.02.20 Artificial intelligence technology may be able to assess a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease based purely on information gathered from routine visits to their GP. Scientists from Indiana University, writing in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, say they have had a significant degree of predictive success from running people’s electronic medical records through a specially developed machine learning algorithm. “The great thing about this method is that it’s passive, and it provides similar accuracy to the more intrusive tests that are currently used,” said lead researcher Malaz Boustani, a professor at Indiana University School of Medicine. “This is a low cost, scalable solution that can provide substantial benefit to patients and their families by helping them prepare for the possibility of life with dementia and enabling them to take action.”

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  • 'Key priorities' published as government doubles research spending

    'Key priorities' published as government doubles research spending

    18.02.20 Government plans to double its dementia research spending over the next decade, described in the Conservative manifesto as a “Dementia Moonshot,” should include five key priorities, Alzheimer’s Society said this week. It has written to all MPs outlining its priorities, which include a National Network of Excellence for Dementia Care Research, transforming care through technology, prioritising prevention and public health, funding for new treatments, and building capacity in dementia research. “The government’s ‘Dementia Moonshot’ is a big step forward,” said Society chief policy and research officer Fiona Carragher. “However, it’s crucial that they allocate the funding appropriately.

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  • Research charity to raise £100m to find dementia 'digital fingerprint'

    Research charity to raise £100m to find dementia 'digital fingerprint'

    17.02.20 Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) has launched plans to develop wearable devices that can detect early signs of dementia. In what the charity describes as a “global initiative to use wearables to revolutionise disease detection,” the project aims to find “digital fingerprints” which can be spotted by devices like smart watches. ARUK hopes to attract up to £100 million in investment by 2030 to build and trial a diagnostic device on a large scale. The Early Detection of Neurodegenerative Diseases (EDoN) initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, will see ARUK team up with organisations in data science and clinical and neurodegenerative research to collect and analyse data relating to sleep, gait and speech patterns, among other things, to develop early digital fingerprints for these conditions.

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  • Health staff may be 'misusing' Mental Health Act sectioning powers

    Health staff may be 'misusing' Mental Health Act sectioning powers

    14.02.20 More than 25,000 people with dementia have been sectioned under theMental Health Act (MHA) over the past five years in order to “control” their behaviour, according to a report in the Telegraph newspaper. It claims that 25,223 patients with dementia in England were sectioned and more than a thousand of these were locked in hospital wards with no specialist dementia care. The Telegraph reports that experts found the figures “deeply shocking” and warned that health staff may be misusing MHA powers. Age UK is quoted as telling the paper that families had been unable to have relatives discharged even when they were no longer aggressive and were approaching the end of life.

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  • E-Newsletter - 14 Feb 2020

    E-Newsletter - 14 Feb 2020

    Here is the week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include use of 'section' for people with dementia and Alzheimer's Research UK plans to find dementia "digital fingerprint". It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • Dementia care champion Dr Jacob Roy Kuriakose dies age 68

    Dementia care champion Dr Jacob Roy Kuriakose dies age 68

    13.02.20 A great champion of dementia care and the work of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) – Dr Jacob Roy Kuriakose – has died at the age of 68. Dr Kuriakose was the founder of the Alzheimer’s & Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) and honorary vice-president of ADI. ARDSI has successfully engaged with the Indian government and ensured that a national dementia plan is firmly on the agenda for a country where five million people live with dementia.

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  • Decision support tool will help families with research participation

    Decision support tool will help families with research participation

    14.02.20 How should families make decisions about research involving adults who lack capacity to consent? Cardiff University’s DECISION Study explored how families make decisions about research involving loved ones, conducting a series of interviews with family members having relatives who did not themselves have capacity to consent to being part of research studies. As a result of the study, the university has developed a tool to help family members make these decisions as well as the clinicians and practitioners who seek their involvement. “Supported decision-making could reduce the impact felt by family members and make their decisions more informed and representative of the wishes and preferences of the person they care for, and so continue to provide an opportunity to participate in research in the later stages of dementia,” said Cardiff University research associate Victoria Shepherd in a blog about the DECISION Study.

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  • FA in England to follow Scottish example

    FA in England to follow Scottish example

    12.02.20 The Football Association in England has become the latest football body to float plans for restrictions on heading the ball by young players. Reports suggest that the FA will clamp down on the amount of heading during training by under-18s following a Glasgow University study which found that professional footballers were 3.5 times more likely than average to have died from a neurodegenerative disease. New guidelines are expected from the FA later this month, reported the BBC, and will apply only to training and not to matches. As previously reported, the Scottish FA is expected to announce a similar ban, although it is understood that it will only affect under-12s.

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  • NICE gives upbeat report on dementia care and use of antipsychotics

    NICE gives upbeat report on dementia care and use of antipsychotics

    11.02.20 The health and care system’s understanding of dementia and response to it are improving, claims the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), although it adds that “there is always more to be done.” In a blog on NICE’s latest impact report, deputy chief executive Professor Gillian Leng says the number of GP assessments for dementia is rising, both in terms of initial memory assessments and memory clinic referrals. Professor Leng writes. “Our latest impact report emphasises, among other things, the appropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medicines and the importance of lifestyle changes in preventing or delaying the onset of dementia.... Encouragingly, we have seen a decrease in prescribing antipsychotics from 22% in 2005, stabilising to around 9% of patients with a diagnosis in 2019.”

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