The latest news on chronic, acute, and preventive care across the health care landscape.
Chronic: No Link Between Psychiatric Disorders and Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Psychiatric disorders were found not to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in theEuropean Psychiatry. A history of depression or any psychiatric disorder were associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease when psychiatric disorders that occurred at least 5 years before the Alzheimer’s diagnosis was considered. However, the associations did not carry over when the time period was extended to 10 years, according to the study. The findings suggest that some of these psychiatric disorders may have been prodromal symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, underlining the importance of proper differential diagnostics of Alzheimer’s disease.
Acute: Investigational Drug Reduces Frequency of Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women
An experimental drug could reduce the number of hot flashes per day by as much as 73% in menopausal women, according to an early-stage study published inThe Lancet. Hormone replacement therapy can be an effective treatment option for some women, but others may not experience any benefits or are unable to take it. In the study, 28 women with severe flushing received the novel drug compound MLE4901, designed to block the neurokinin B (NKB) receptors of the brain to suppress the chemical’s action. The women were aged 40 to 62 years and were experiencing 7 or more hot flashes per day and had not had a period in at last 12 months. The participants were randomized to receive either 80 mg of MLE4901 daily or a placebo over a 4-week period, before switching to the other tablet for an additional 4 weeks. The results of the study showed that the compound MLE4901 significantly reduce the average total number of flushes as well as severity compared with patients who received the placebo. The compound also helped reduce the impact of flushes on their lives and improved their sleep. “If a woman is having more than 7 flushes a day and the drug is getting rid of three-quarters of them, that’s pretty life-changing,” said Waljit Dhilo, NIHR research professor, Department of Medicine at Imperial. “For day to day living and work, that’s a significant impact on quality of life. If we can reduce flushing by 73% it’s a game-changer for those patients.” The findings will be presented at the 2017 Endocrine Society annual meeting in Florida.
Preventive: Link Found Between Birth Weight and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Both high and low birth weight have been identified as a risk factor for the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in children, according to a study published in theJournal of Pediatrics. For the study, investigators used data of more than 530 children younger than 21 years who were enrolled in the Database of the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases NASH Clinical Research Network. The children had diagnoses of NAFLD that were confirmed by liver biopsy, and the birth weights were collected and compared to the distribution of birth weight categories in the general US population. The results of the study showed that low birth weight and high birth weight were both associated with the severity of liver disease but in different ways. Children with low birth weight were more likely to develop severe scarring of the liver, whereas, children with high birth weight were more likely to develop the hepatitis form of fatty liver disease. “This is the first study to show that extremes of weights on either side of the normal spectrum are connected to an increased risk of NAFLD,” said investigators Jeffrey Schwimmer, MD. “Children who are born with low birth weight or high birth weight may merit closer attention to their metabolic health to help prevent obesity, liver disease, and diabetes.”