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95% of people think they could develop dementia with age

A global study on attitudes toward dementia has shown that two-thirds of people believe it to be a natural risk of getting older, which could be limiting the help that people seek. Every 3 seconds, someone develops dementia somewhere in the world. In the United States alone, 5.8 million people are living with Alzheimer's, and every 65 seconds, another person develops the disease. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., beating breast and prostate cancer together, and it is one of the world's fastest growing causes of death. According to Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), the number of people living with dementia is likely to triple from the current 50 million to 152 million by 2050. Despite the prevalence of this neurodegenerative disorder, the world's largest survey of attitudes toward it has shown that there is very little true understanding across the globe, even among healthcare professionals. The study, which surveyed 70,000 people in 155 countries, found that 62% of healthcare professionals also believe that dementia is a normal part of aging. The findings also revealed that only 16% of people are getting regular cognitive assessments, even though early diagnosis can help. (Credit: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Brain scans could help predict whether antidepressants will work

Scientists have long been trying to find out why some people do not respond to antidepressants. Now, new research suggests that it may be possible to predict how well a person with depression will respond to medication by analyzing scans of their brains. The research includes an example of how artificial intelligence (AI) can help the analysis. The new research comes in the form of two recent studies, one that features in the American Journal of Psychiatry and the other in Nature Human Behaviour. The studies reveal the most recent findings from a clinical trial in the United States called Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response in Clinical Care (EMBARC). EMBARC aims to set up objective tests derived from patient biology to help select treatments for mood disorders and reduce the trial and error of prescribing medications. Dr. Madhukar H. Trivedi, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is overseeing the trial. He is also the senior author of the two recent papers. "We need to end the guessing game and find objective measures for prescribing interventions that will work," said Dr. Trivedi, who is also the founding Director of the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UT Southwestern. "People with depression already suffer from hopelessness," he adds, "and the problem can become worse if they take a medication that is ineffective." A major reason for setting up EMBARC was because an earlier study that Dr. Trivedi led had found that nearly two-thirds of people fail to respond adequately to their first depression medication. (Credit: www.medicalnewstoday.com)