Meeting summaries: Alzheimer disease, insomnia, supplement use 

Conference Roundup

Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 

Washington, DC, July 19–23, 2015 

  • New research presented at the conference estimated that more than 28 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer disease between now and 2050, and that the cost of caring for them will consume approximately 25% of Medicare spending in 2040. 

  • An analysis of data over a 12-year period from 490,344 people (>60 y) with no prior history of dementia, including 334 individuals who had type 1 diabetes, found that people with type 1 diabetes were 93% more likely to get dementia (73% after adjustment for stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and hypertension) compared with people without diabetes. 

  • Women with mild cognitive impairment, characterized as slight but noticeable and measurable decline in cognitive abilities such as memory and thinking, declined in cognition two times faster than men with mild cognitive impairment. 

  • New data with Eli Lilly’s investigational compound solanezumab found that patients with mild Alzheimer disease who received solanezumab earlier in the disease compared with patients who began treatment at a later point (i.e., delayed start) continued to have better outcomes. These data supported the potential benefit of starting treatment with solanezumab earlier rather than later in disease progression and suggested persistence of treatment effect even after the delayed-start patients are given active drug.

  • New data suggested that patients with both higher childhood school performance and high occupational complexity with data are at the lowest risk of developing dementia. Researchers collected school and occupational histories from 7,574 individuals aged 65 years and older from the Uppsala Birth Cohort Study (Sweden) and followed them for more than 20 years to detect new cases of dementia. They reported that the risk of dementia was elevated by 21% in people who were in the lowest 20% of childhood school grades and was reduced by 23% among individuals in occupations characterized by high complexity with data and numbers.

Associated Professional Sleep Societies 

Seattle, June 6–10, 2015 

  • In patients with stable heart failure and obstructive sleep apnea, exercise training significantly decreased the severity of sleep apnea, improved excessive daytime sleepiness, New York Heart Association class, and quality of life.

  • Data from 82 patients with primary insomnia disorder showed that sequencing of cognitive therapy and pharmacological therapy resulted in similar response rates. Specifically, for those who failed behavioral therapy, the addition of zolpidem or cognitive therapy as a second treatment resulted in an equivalent overall response rate of 72%. Following zolpidem treatment, the addition of behavioral therapy or trazadone yielded similar response rates of 69% and 71%, respectively.

  • Data from a pooled analysis suggested that use of gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant—XenoPort) 600 mg or 1,200 mg in patients with moderate-to-severe primary restless leg syndrome (RLS) improves pain and RLS symptoms. 

  • Self-perceived sleep quality and pain were improved in overweight and obese women who adopt healthy eating and increased physical activity, even if they only achieve a small amount of weight loss. 

  • The combination of insomnia with short sleep duration—characterized as difficulty falling asleep, getting back to sleep, early morning awakenings, or use of a sleeping pill for 16 to 30 nights per month, and total sleep time of less than 6 hours on polysomnography—raised the risk for cardiovascular disease, according to results of a large study.

  • Use of technology before sleep, which is common among adolescents, may have negative consequences on nighttime sleep and next-day functioning in this patient population. 

American Psychological Association 

Toronto, August 6–9, 2015 

  • New research suggested that many gym-going men excessively overuse legal appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs (e.g., protein powders and bars, creatine, glutamine) which can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and gender role conflict (in which an individual perceives that he is not living up to the strict limitations of masculinity dictated by modern culture).

  • Face-to-face meetings were preferred and viewed as more effective by participants compared with online sobriety support systems, according to an analysis of survey data from 196 adults who reported using both in-person and online sobriety support systems. 

  • A new study found that sexting is common among adults, with 8 out of 10 people surveyed online admitting to sexting in the previous year.