Guardian Dementia

This page shows the latest items from the Guardian Dementia newsfeed.

Dementia patients who see same GP have better quality of life, study finds

Study finds patients who consistently see same GP have fewer health complications and emergency hospital visits

Dementia patients who see the same GP every time have lower rates of health complications, fewer emergency hospital visits and a better overall quality of life, according to a new study.

More than 900,000 people live with dementia in the UK. The figure is about 57 million globally, and this is on course to nearly triple to 153 million by 2050.

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25 January 2022, 12:05 am

Hundreds of dementia care homes found to be substandard in England

Exclusive: Guardian analysis finds one in five homes rated ‘inadequate’ or ‘require improvement’ by CQC

Hundreds of care homes in England are providing substandard care to dementia patients, analysis by the Guardian has found.

One in five homes specialising in dementia are rated “inadequate” or “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), inspection reports show. Some pose such a serious risk to people with dementia – including filthy conditions, poor infection control and untrained staff – that inspectors have ordered them to be placed into special measures.

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18 January 2022, 12:00 pm

Pandemic policy deprives my mother of both family love and her human rights | Liz Saville-Roberts

People with dementia have fared badly in the last two years, and in Wales worst of all

My mother, Nancy, is a scientist. The first person in her family to go to university, she was awarded a doctorate in organic chemistry in 1960. A chemistry teacher for 20 years, she enabled scores of young women to enter careers in science and medicine. She learned Russian for the fun of it and, when she retired to north Wales almost 30 years ago to help with our twin babies, she learned Welsh to a level of fluency that enabled her to act as secretary for a local Welsh-language social club.

She is a gardener, a cat lover and is fond of owls. She is a hill-walker. She is a practising Christian. She is a lover of opera. She is a maker of marmalade. And she is a mother, grandmother and godmother.

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9 January 2022, 9:00 am

Obese? Need nanny’s help? Don’t rely on the Tories, baffled by today’s world | Nick Cohen

Crises such as public health must be met by the state and there’s the Conservatives’ rub

Conservatives look like cranks today, not because of personal failings of this or that politician, but because they cannot deal with the crises of the modern world. It’s not that they don’t have answers – rightwing thinkers spit them out faster than a machine gun fires bullets. It’s just that their answers are irrelevant and, even in Tory terms, self-defeating.

All viable responses to global warming, vaccination, the job losses artificial intelligence will bring and failing public health enhance the role of the state. It must provide jobs and benefits to society’s losers, protect their health and drastically reconfigure markets to sustain the planet. Small states that allow sovereign individuals and companies to decide for themselves now feel as antiquated as Margaret Thatcher’s handbag and pearls.

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8 January 2022, 7:00 pm

Number of adults with dementia to exceed 150m by 2050, study finds

Experts describe data from first study of its kind as shocking and warn of ‘rapidly growing threat’

The number of adults living with dementia worldwide is on course to nearly triple to 153 million by 2050, according to the first study of its kind.

Experts described the data as shocking and said it was clear that dementia presented “a major and rapidly growing threat to future health and social care systems” in every community, country and continent.

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6 January 2022, 11:30 pm

Viagra could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, study finds

US scientists say users of sildenafil – the generic name for Viagra – are 69% less likely to develop the form of dementia than non-users

Viagra could be a useful treatment against Alzheimer’s disease, according to a US study.

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of age-related dementia, affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Despite mounting numbers of cases, however, there is currently no effective treatment.

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6 December 2021, 7:32 pm

Scans can detect brain injury after repeated head impacts in sport

Study of former American footballers offers hope that damage could be diagnosed more easily

Brain scans of former American football players reveal signs of white matter injury, according to research into the lasting effects of repetitive head impacts in sport.

The finding is viewed as significant because until now it has been difficult to identify such damage in the brain until after death. The latest work suggests that markers of injury could be detectable using specialised MRI scans, allowing doctors to study, and potentially diagnose, such damage more readily.

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24 November 2021, 9:57 pm

England’s social care cap will see poorest areas lose greater share of property wealth

Analysis shows those in deprived northern areas face spending 60% of eligible property value compared to 20% in the south

Homeowners in the poorest areas of England face losing a three times greater share of their housing wealth to pay for social care than people in the most affluent areas, Guardian analysis reveals.

Last week ministers decided not to count means-tested council funding of care towards a new £86,000 care cap, forcing people to pay more towards their care. The plan will on average leave homeowners who need long-term elderly care in the most deprived northern areas spending at least 60% of their eligible property value, compared to 20% in the wealthiest southern areas, analysis shows.

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22 November 2021, 7:18 pm

‘This is an attack on human rights’: UK care homes still denying family visits to residents

Relatives and support groups claim that the sector has been ‘left behind’ as the rest of society opens up

Dozens of care homes are still denying people access to their elderly relatives 20 months after the pandemic began, according to support groups.

Although ministers have urged care homes to allow relatives to visit, groups including the Relatives & Residents Association and Unlock Care Homes say that many are still unable to see elderly residents.

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20 November 2021, 5:33 pm

Social care cap could expose poorer homeowners to ‘catastrophic’ costs

Boris Johnson warned ‘red wall’ MPs could revolt when cap on home and care costs put to a vote

Tens of thousands of England’s poorest pensioners face paying the same for their old age care as wealthier people after the government published details of the new cap on home and care costs.

The move will save the government hundreds of millions of pounds but leave many poorer homeowners exposed to “catastrophic costs” including the need to sell their homes to cover long-term care, analysts said.

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17 November 2021, 8:57 pm

World Rugby’s cynical deflection over brain injuries is an insult to the players | Michael Aylwin

Governing body’s posturing over the cause of early onset dementia among ex-players is extraordinarily insensitive

So it’s not the brain injuries after all. Those rugby players diagnosed with dementia in their early 40s, steadily growing in number, must be comforted to learn that the repetitive brain trauma they suffered in their playing careers is but one of 12 modifiable risk factors that might have contributed to their conditions.

This is the latest angle World Rugby has come up with, as the posturing continues in advance of impending lawsuits. Here we are, nearly a year since rugby union was rocked by the news that eight of its former players were suing the sport after their diagnoses of dementia, with scores more of them – now hundreds – waiting in the wings with further symptoms. And World Rugby continues to deflect.

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17 November 2021, 7:12 pm

Tea and coffee may be linked to lower risk of stroke and dementia – study

Research looking at 365,000 people aged 50-74 finds moderate consumption could have health benefits

Drinking coffee or tea may be linked with a lower risk of stroke and dementia, according to the largest study of its kind.

Strokes cause 10% of deaths globally, while dementia is one of the world’s biggest health challenges – 130 million are expected to be living with it by 2050.

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16 November 2021, 7:00 pm

‘I would want to plan’: readers on whether they would be tested to predict dementia

A test that could predict your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is to be used in parts of the NHS. Readers share their reasons why they would take it or not

A five-minute test that could predict your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia in up to 15 years’ time is being deployed by the Birmingham and Solihull mental health NHS foundation trust.

More than 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, which affects one in 14 people over the age of 65 and one in six people over 80.

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29 October 2021, 11:59 am

Sleep affluence: why too much shut-eye can be bad for your health

A new study re-emphasises the fact that oversleeping can be harmful for us – and especially for older people

Name: sleep affluence.

Zzzzz. Hey! This is a very interesting and very informative column!

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27 October 2021, 3:36 pm

Former international players launch concussion legal action against RFL

  • Bobbie Goulding in group of 10 with brain damage symptoms
  • Goulding diagnosed with early onset dementia at 49

A group of former international rugby league players have formally announced their intention to bring legal action against the Rugby Football League, claiming the governing body failed to protect them from the risks of brain damage caused by concussion. That group includes the former Great Britain half-back Bobbie Goulding, who has revealed he has been diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 49.

Goulding is among a group of 10 players who are planning to launch action, but the lawyers representing the players say they are aware of 50 former professionals, some of whom are in their 20s, who are showing symptoms associated with neurological issues such as early onset dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and motor neurone disease.

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27 October 2021, 6:00 am

Tell us: would you take a test for possible dementia?

A new computerised test claims it will accurately assess a patient’s risk of dementia. Would you take it?

The UK company Cognetivity Neurosciences has announced it is beginning NHS trials of a new five-minute test to detect a patient’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. The firm claims that the Integrated Cognitive Assessment (ICA) will assess the brain’s processing speed in order to predict your risk of developing Alzheimer’s in up to 15 years’ time.

We would like to hear your views on the new test. Given there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders, would you take the test, and why?

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26 October 2021, 11:51 am

‘Inadequate’ Blackburn care home put into special measures

Inspectors who visited Longfield residential home found dementia patients living in ‘undignified’ and dirty conditions

A care home claiming “exceptional personalised care” for dementia patients has been put into special measures after inspectors found residents with faeces under their fingernails and food on their faces, wearing other people’s clothes and sleeping in dirty bedrooms.

Longfield residential home says its staff are “devoted to going above and beyond” for dementia patients, who “receive the best personalised care”.

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19 October 2021, 6:09 am

Epigenetics, the misunderstood science that could shed new light on ageing

The study of the epigenome came with claims that trauma could be inherited, but now researchers are more excited about its potential to measure the risk of disease

A little over a decade ago, a clutch of scientific studies was published that seemed to show that survivors of atrocities or disasters such as the Holocaust and the Dutch famine of 1944-45 had passed on the biological scars of those traumatic experiences to their children.

The studies caused a sensation, earning their own BBC Horizon documentary and the cover of Time (I also wrote about them, for New Scientist) – and no wonder. The mind-blowing implications were that DNA wasn’t the only mode of biological inheritance, and that traits acquired by a person in their lifetime could be heritable. Since we receive our full complement of genes at conception and it remains essentially unchanged until our death, this information was thought to be transmitted via chemical tags on genes called “epigenetic marks” that dial those genes’ output up or down. The phenomenon, known as transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, caught the public imagination, in part because it seemed to release us from the tyranny of DNA. Genetic determinism was dead.

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10 October 2021, 12:00 pm

The Guardian view on predatory marriage: new safeguards are needed | Editorial

The state has taken too casual an approach. Of course a person’s capacity to marry should be checked

A brave woman, Daphne Franks, wants to reform some of the laws connected with marriage. Since 2016, when her mother died and it emerged that she had secretly wed, Ms Franks has become a spokesperson for victims of “predatory marriage”. The term originates in Canada, where several provinces have altered their laws to insert safeguards aimed at protecting vulnerable people from being coerced into unions to which they do not have the capacity to consent. In 2018, Ms Franks’s MP, Fabian Hamilton, tried to use a private member’s bill to change the law in England and Wales along similar lines. The bill attracted support but ran out of time.

Legislation already exists to protect some of those who might be coerced into marrying. Forced marriage has been illegal in England, Wales and Scotland since 2014 (and is illegal in Northern Ireland under separate legislation). This most commonly involves people who are unable to consent due to a learning disability, and sometimes involves them being sent to marry abroad. In 2019, the government’s forced marriage unit offered support in 1,355 cases.

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3 October 2021, 5:30 pm

HRT not linked to increased risk of dementia, says study

UK researchers studied 600,000 women over three decades

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not linked to an increased risk of developing dementia, according to the largest study of its kind.

The treatment is used by millions of women worldwide to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, sleep disturbance, mood swings, memory losses and depression.

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29 September 2021, 10:30 pm