The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has awarded a new $2.37-million grant to help Seattle-area researchers embark on an important research effort designed to investigate the lasting effects of traumatic brain injuries—an area that has long been filled with question marks for physicians and scientists.
A joint Group Health–University of Washington (UW) study in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that higher blood sugar levels are associated with higher dementia risk, even among people who do not have diabetes. Blood sugar levels averaged over a five-year period were associated with rising risks for developing dementia, in this report about more than 2,000 Group Health patients age 65 and older in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study.
Lisa A. Jackson, MD, MPH, is leading a study of pneumococcal vaccine in older adults at six Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) across the nation, including at Group Health. Dr. Jackson, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute, leads the Seattle-area VTEU. Dr. Jackson and her colleagues plan to see if a higher dose of a pneumococcal vaccine will create a stronger immune response in older adults who received an earlier-generation vaccine against pneumonia and other pneumococcal diseases.
Compared to individuals without dementia, people who subsequently developed dementia had a significantly higher rate of hospital admissions for all causes. They also had more admissions for “ambulatory care-sensitive” conditions, for which proactive care may have prevented hospitalizations. This suggests opportunities for improving outpatient care of seniors with dementia, according to research in the January 11 Journal of the American Medical Association.
Many people taking common Alzheimer’s disease medications—cholinesterase inhibitors—are given medications with anticholinergic properties, which oppose their effects. Group Health Research Institute scientists investigated how often that happens and reported on the consequences in an “Early View” study e-published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Opioids—a class of medicines commonly given for pain—were associated with a higher risk of pneumonia in a study of 3,061 adults, aged 65 to 94, e-published in advance of publication in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study from researchers at Group Health Research Institute and the University of Washington (UW) also found that benzodiazepines, which are drugs generally given for insomnia and anxiety, did not affect pneumonia risk.
Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) joint project between GHRI and the University of Washington focuses on finding ways to delay or prevent dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, and declines in memory and thinking.
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