Actos attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm highlight several recent studies focusing on Alzheimer’s risk and methods of preventing the disease. Nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are significantly more likely to be victims of abuse and neglect, so families need to have all information on-hand to prevent such mistreatment.
The first study we would like to highlight was conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, England. The study found that about one-third of Alzheimer’s cases are preventable, and identified seven risk factors for the disease. More than 30 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s worldwide, a number that is expected to triple by 2050.
The seven risk factors scientists identified as the top risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s were:
1. Lack of exercise 2. Type 2 diabetes 3. High blood pressure 4. Obesity 5. Depression 6. Smoking 7. Lack of advanced education
Looking at worldwide data, the main risk factor associated with Alzheimer’s was low education levels, followed by smoking and lack of exercise. Importantly, many of these seven risk factors tie into each other – those who do not get enough exercise often also suffer from obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Patients with depression may also feel a lack of motivation to exercise.
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Cambridge researchers noted that, although there is no single factor that will prevent dementia, studies like this can help at-risk patients identify how to best reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s development. For too many, this information comes too late; but for millions of others, simple lifestyle changes like reducing high blood pressure through a healthy diet and exercise regimen, could make a world of difference.
Actos and Alzheimer’s
It is widely known that whatever is good for your heart is good for your brain – exercise, healthy eating habits, and avoiding smoking. As people grow older, however, it is normal to feel your body change in various ways. Some signals, however, should not be taken as a normal part of aging, and could be symptoms of high blood pressure or diabetes, which can in turn lead to dementia.
Some symptoms of type 2 diabetes can seem normal: sluggishness, hearing loss, and irritability, for example. These could actually be warning signs of type 2 diabetes. Other symptoms patients may write off include blurred vision, frequent urination, extreme thirst, and unexplained weight loss.
Actos is a popular medication to treat type 2 diabetes. A team of researchers in Germanyrecently conducted a clinical trial that suggests that this medication could reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, however, this finding should be taken with a grain of salt.
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Out of 145,000 patients involved in the German study, nearly 14,000 eventually developed dementia. Researchers noted that those patients taking Actos had a reduced risk of dementia risk, however, the exact reason behind this was not immediately evident. This study was conducted using a database of patients, and looked into their data retrospectively, meaning the study was not done on live patients.
Patients should be wary of study findings like this. Medications, no matter what they are prescribed to treat, always come with their own (often unknown) side effects. Actos, for instance, is associated with an overwhelming risk of bladder cancer development, over which Actos’ manufacturer was recently ordered to pay $9 billion to a single plaintiff.
In April 2014, a federal court jury found that Actos’ manufacturer knowingly hid the risk of bladder cancer from both patients and doctors. If it stands, this would be the largest single award over a drugmaker’s mishandling of a product in U.S. history.
The two month trial centered on whether or not Actos’ manufacturer knew the drug could cause cancer and failed to warn doctors and consumers about this risk. At least three other juries in the U.S. have filed similar verdicts, ordering the drugmaker to pay more than $8 million in damages to Actos cancer victims.
For more information on this case and Actos litigation, check out our previous blog postshere, and here. Our team of Actos lawyers are currently investigating cases of bladder cancer from Actos use. If you or someone you love have any questions regarding Actos or any other dangerous medication, call our office or fill out the short contact form to the right of your screen. Our legal consultations are always free and confidential.