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New Risk Score Predicts 10-Year Dementia Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Researchers at Kaiser Permanente and the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands have created the first risk score that predicts the 10-year individualized dementia risk for patients with type 2 diabetes, as reported in the inaugural issue of Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

The researchers developed and validated the Diabetes-Specific Dementia Risk Score by examining data from nearly 30,000 patients with type 2 diabetes aged 60 and older over a 10-year period. They found eight factors that were most predictive of dementia — including microvascular disease, diabetic foot and cerebrovascular disease — and assigned each a value related to their association with dementia to create an overall score for patients. The researchers found that individuals in the lowest category of the 20-point risk score had a 5.3 percent chance of developing dementia over the next 10 years, while those in the highest category had a 73 percent chance. Compared with those in the lowest category, those in the highest were 37 times more likely to get dementia, according to the study.

“Patients with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop dementia as those without the disease, but predicting who has the highest future risk is difficult,” said Rachel Whitmer, PhD, an epidemiologistat the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., who led the study. “While a few dementia risk scores exist, this is the first one that has been developed specifically for individuals with type 2 diabetes and encompasses diabetes-specific characteristics.”

All predictors included in the Diabetes-Specific Dementia Risk Score are easy to obtain and based primarily on medical history, so the risk score can be calculated during a routine medical visit or with electronic health records. No labor-intensive or expensive tests, such as cognitive function or brain imaging, are required.

“This risk score is crucial for the care of patients with diabetes since they are particularly susceptible to dementia. It provides clinicians with an easy and efficient tool to assess their patients’ chances of developing dementia over the next 10 years,” Whitmer said. “Early detection of diabetes patients who are at increased future risk of dementia could help to develop and target preventive treatment.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, with type 2 diabetes in particular accounting for more than 90 percent of these cases. In addition to being a risk factor for dementia, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.

“The risk score could be useful in the selection of high-risk patients for early intervention studies and for many applications of personalized medicine,” said Geert Jan Biessels, MD, professor of neurology at the University Medical Centre Utrecht and co-author of the study. “Clinicians can use it to guide their decisions in terms of clinical attention to incipient cognitive impairment which makes people vulnerable to dangerous side effects of diabetes treatment. The risk score will also help us to understand the causes of diabetes associated increased dementia risk, because we can examine those at high risk in early stages of the dementia process.”

Study: Risk score for prediction of 10 year dementia risk in individuals with type 2 diabetes: a cohort study [Lancet]

Source: Kaiser Permanente

NIH Launches Collaborative Effort to find Biomarkers for Parkinson’s

A new initiative aims to accelerate the search for biomarkers — changes in the body that can be used to predict, diagnose or monitor a disease — in Parkinson’s disease, in part by improving collaboration among researchers and helping patients get involved in clinical studies.

C2N Diagnostics, InterVivo Solutions, and inviCRO Announce Formation of Pre-Competitive Consortium to Develop, Standardize, and Validate Preclinical Aged Canine Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

C2N Diagnostics, InterVivo Solutions, and inviCRO (“Companies”) announced recently the formation of a pre-competitive consortium to develop, standardize, and validate an aged-canine model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression. The multi-year collaboration is believed to be the first-of-its-kind. It will rely on the longitudinal measurement of disease-specific and clinically relevant biomarkers in canine aging. The study is modeled after the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) initiative in humans. The characterization of AD relevant biomarkers in a preclinical model of disease aims to create a robust and reliable method for the screening of candidate therapies that may prevent, slow, or reverse Alzheimer’s pathology and symptomology. Ultimately, the work from this collaboration intends to improve the translatability of Alzheimer’s preclinical drug development to human drug development.

Researchers Find Earliest Known Signs of Alzheimer’s in People with Genetic Mutation that Causes Inherited Form of the Disease

Researchers have found the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease yet detected in a group of people with a rare, inherited form of the disease, according to two Articles published in The Lancet Neurology. The findings raise important questions about scientists’ understanding of how, and why, Alzheimer’s disease progresses, and could ultimately lead to improved early detection and better clinical trials of preventative treatments.

Technion Researchers Identify a Cluster of Five Genes in the Blood that Predict Parkinson’s Disease

Technion researchers from the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine have identified five genes that predict Parkinson’s disease, reports the scientific journal Molecular Neurodegeneration. The research was conducted by Dr. Silvia Mandel, Vice Director of the Eve Topf Center of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research and Teaching, together with her colleagues Prof. Moussa Youdim (Technion), Prof. Judith Aharon (Rambam Medical Center), and Prof. Martin Rabey (Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center), as well as her colleagues from the Universities of Würzburg and Pisa.