New Drugs for Dementia (POST Note PN 535)

Summary

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) has produced a briefing outlining some of the challenges in developing new drugs for dementia, explained in the context of ongoing UK and international research programmes.

There is an extensive bibliography, with working links to related documentation.

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New drugs for dementia [overview / executive summary]. London: POST (Great Britain. Parliament. Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology), August 16th 2016.

This relates to:

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Bunn, S. [and] Marks, N. (2016). New drugs for dementia. London: POST (Great Britain. Parliament. Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology), August 2016. (POSTnote No. PN 0535).

Posted in Antipsychotics, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), International, Models of Dementia Care, National, Pharmacological Treatments, Quick Insights, Statistics, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NHS Reconfiguration + STPs = Cut-Backs?: Two Sides of Same Equation? (NHS England / King’s Fund / Nuffield Trust / BBC News)

Summary

The “Keep calm and carry on”-style narrative from officialdom.

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NHS England statement on Sustainability and Transformation Plans. [Online]: NHS England, August 26th 2016.

Theoretical clarification concerning STPs, from the King’s Fund

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Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) explained. [Online]: King’s Fund, August 24th 2016.

Unknown Territory: Making It Up As We Go Along?

“ …the Nuffield Trust think tank said while STPs could lead to “fundamental changes”, many of the plans do not meet the financial targets set by the government… ”.

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Bloch-Budzier, S. (2016). NHS cuts ‘planned across England’. London: BBC Health News, August 26th 2016.

This relates to:

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Edwards, N. (2016). So much to do, so little time: turning STPs into action. [Online]: Nuffield Trust, August 25th 2016.

NHS trusts’ deficit problems continue:

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Triggle, N. (2016). Warnings despite upturn in NHS finances. London: BBC Health News, August 25th 2016.

Winter pressures all year round?

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Triggle, N. (2016). Why the NHS has the winter blues in summer. London: BBC Health News, August 23rd 2016.

This relates to a recent submission to the House of Commons Health Committee’s inquiry into winter pressures:

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Planning for winter pressure in accident and emergency departments inquiry: written evidence submitted by the Department of Health, NHS England and NHS Improvement (WIP0035). London: Department of Health; NHS England and NHS Improvement, August 2016.

Concerning recent Nuffield Trust analyses:

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Edwards, N. (2016). How are Sustainability and Transformation Plans coming together? [Online]: Nuffield Trust, August 19th 2016.

Deficits in the NHS 2016

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Pym, H. (2016). Pressure intensifies on squeezed NHS. London: BBC Health News, August 5th 2016.

This relates to:

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Gainsbury, S. (2016). Feeling the crunch: NHS finances to 2020. London: Nuffield Trust, August 5th 2016.

There is also an Executive Summary.

An earlier King’s Fund report:

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Dunn, P. McKenna, H. [and] Murray, R. (2016). Deficits in the NHS 2016. London: King’s Fund, July 2016.

One “modest proposal”, from Dr. Dan Poulter MP (ex-Conservative Health Minister):

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New tax needed to fund NHS and care, says ex-minister London: BBC Health News, August 28th 2016.

Posted in Acute Hospitals, BBC News, Charitable Bodies, Commissioning, Community Care, Department of Health, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), In the News, Integrated Care, King's Fund, Management of Condition, National, NHS, NHS England, Nuffield Trust, Person-Centred Care, Quick Insights, Standards, Statistics, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Patterns in the Development of Alzheimer’s Disease? (NHS Choices / Science Advances)

Summary

Patterns of gene activity (gene expression) in specific areas of the brain may help explain why Alzheimer’s Disease tends to start in certain regions before spreading further through the brain.

“ …those regions of the brain in which tissues were more susceptible to protein expression correlated well with the brain regions that first show signs of Alzheimer’s disease”.

If Alzheimer’s Disease-related problems first become apparent in areas most genetically primed for protein overgrowth then future research into potential treatments might focus on these brain regions.

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Gene patterns may explain brain’s Alzheimer’s vulnerability. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, August 11th 2016.

This relates to:

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Freer, R. Sormanni, P. [and] Vecchi, G. [et al] (2016). A protein homeostasis signature in healthy brains recapitulates tissue vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease. Science Advances. August 10th 2016; 2(8): e1600947.

Posted in For Doctors (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, NHS Choices, Quick Insights, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Developments in Dementia Research: From the Horses’ Mouths (NHS England / NIHR)

Summary

Professor Alistair Burns (NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older Peoples’ Mental Health), and Professor Martin Rossor (NIHR National Director for Dementia Research), discuss current issues and new approaches in dementia research, touching briefly upon some of the promising trials, including:

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We must make the most of Alzheimer’s disease research – Professor Alistair Burns and Professor Martin Rossor. [Online]: NHS England, August 24th 2016.

There is an earlier piece by the same authors, which went beneath the radar before today:

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Is this a new era for dementia? – Professor Alistair Burns and Professor Martin Rossor. [Online]: NHS England, September 15th 2015.

Posted in For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), International, Mental Health, Models of Dementia Care, National, NHS England, NIHR, Pharmacological Treatments, Quick Insights, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Challenges in the Creation of a Seven-Day NHS: Leaked Update (BBC News)

Summary

A confidential Department of Health review of government plans for a seven-day NHS in England, “leaked” to the Guardian newspaper and Channel 4 News, identifies 13 potential risks; including concerns over staff-shortages, workforce overload and the general lack of resources / capacity for doing more with less.

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Seven day NHS pledge faces ‘staff shortages’. London: BBC Health News, August 22nd 2016.

Possibly related, possibly not:

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Appointment of new Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Chair / Non Executive Director. [Online]: NHS England, August 24th 2016.

Posted in BBC News, Commissioning, Community Care, Department of Health, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), In the News, Integrated Care, National, NHS, NHS England, Quick Insights, Standards, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deep and Frequent Phenotyping Study: Dementia Early Detection and Biomarkers Research Programme (MRC / NIHR)

Summary

The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping Study will explore improvements in biomarker research and the development of tests to detect Alzheimer’s Disease early on. This research programme will be funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).

“The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study will recruit 250 volunteers from existing study cohorts led by the Dementias Platform UK”.

The ultimate aim is to improve the success rate of clinical trials for treatments in Alzheimer’s Disease – many of which have failed – probably due to the interventions under investigation starting a too late a phase in disease progression, after irreparable damage has taken place.

The biomarkers and tests under investigation will include:

  • Monitoring alterations in movement and walking (“gait”) assessments, using wearable devices.
  • Ophthalmological assessments of the retina.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scans.
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure the magnetic fields produced by nerve cells.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) brain scans to measure electrical currents associated with brain activity.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) brain scans, to detect build-up of rogue proteins or other changes associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Thinking and memory (cognitive) assessments, to measure the ability of participants to pay attention, solve problems and remember.
  • Clinical assessments, including blood and urine samples and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

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World’s most in depth study to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. London [Online]: Medical Research Council (MRC), August 22nd 2016.

Posted in Alzheimer's Society, Charitable Bodies, Commissioning, Diagnosis, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, National, NIHR, Quick Insights, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Earlier Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease? (BBC News / Acta Neuropathologica Communications)

Summary

Recent animal research, using rats, suggests there may be a cheap and non-invasive method of detecting Parkinson’s Disease early – before symptoms develop – by identifying changes in the eye.

The same study also offers early evidence for a newly formulated version of the anti-diabetic drug Rosiglitazone as a promising neuroprotective therapeutic for Parkinson’s Disease (similarly assessed in terms of changes to retinal thickness, again in rats at least).

“Together, these findings suggest that retinal changes may be a good surrogate biomarker for PD, which may be used to assess new treatments both experimentally and clinically”.

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Parkinson’s could potentially be detected by an eye test. London: BBC Health News, August 18th 2016.

This relates to:

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Normando, EM. Davis, BM. [and] De Groef, L. [et al] (2016). The retina as an early biomarker of neurodegeneration in a rotenone-induced model of Parkinson’s disease: evidence for a neuroprotective effect of rosiglitazone in the eye and brain. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. August 18th 2016; 4(1): 86.

Posted in Animal Studies, BBC News, Diagnosis, For Doctors (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, Parkinson's Disease, Pharmacological Treatments, Quick Insights, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment