Older adults taking the class of diabetes medications known as thiazolidinediones (TZDs), specially rosiglitazone, had a significantly increased risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure, and death, compared with the use of other hypoglycemic drugs, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Although TZDs have been shown to improve glycemic control in patients, previous research has indicated that both rosiglitazone (sold under brand names Avandamet®, Avandaryl™, and Avandia®) and pioglitazone (sold under brand names Duetact™, Actoplus MET™, and Actos®) may increase the risk of congestive heart failure, and that rosiglitazone may be associated with an increased risk of heart attack and death.
To assess the risk in the older adult population, researchers analyzed data from health care databases in Ontario that included 159,026 adults age 66 and older with diabetes who were treated with oral hypoglycemic agents. After a median of 3.8 years, 7.9% (n = 12,491) of patients had a hospital visit for congestive heart failure, 7.9% (n = 12,578) had a hospital visit for heart attack, and 19% (n = 30,265) died.
Compared with patients taking a combination of oral hypoglycemic agents, patients taking only TZDs had a 60% increased risk of congestive heart failure, 40% increased risk of heart attack, and 29% increased risk of death, although these risks seemed to be associated with rosiglitazone.
Source.“Use of Diabetes Medication by Older Adults Associated With Increased Risk of Serious Heart Problems, Death.” (2007, December 6). Retrieved December 13, 2007, from http://www.newswise.com/p/articles/view/536015/
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2008 Older American Targeted Capacity Expansion grants, which help communities provide mental health services to older adults. It is expected that $4.15 million will be available to fund up to 10 grants. The grants cannot exceed $415,400 per year for up to 3 years. Eligible applicants include both public and private nonprofit entities with at least 2 years of experience in providing mental health services.
The program promotes the development and use of evidence-based practices—prevention, treatment, and recovery approaches that have been shown to be effective through some form of documented scientific evidence. At least 25% of the grant funding should be devoted to providing services to older adults, and another 25% should be applied to building the mental health infrastructure developed for helping that population. The deadline for applications is March 28.
More information can be accessed online at http://www.samhsa.gov/Grants/2008/sm_08_008.aspx.
Source.“SAMHSA Accepting Applications for Grants for Mental Health Programs Specially Geared to Servicing the Mental Health Needs of Older Americans.” (2008, January 16). Retrieved January 18, 2008, from http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/0801160511.aspx.
A study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation concerning the importance of cytokines, soluble proteins, in Alzheimer’s disease found that within minutes of receiving a spinal injection of etanercept (Enbrel®), patients showed noticeable cognitive and behavioral improvement. Researchers hypothesized that elevated levels of the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) can interfere with the regulation of transmission of neural impulses in the brain. Excess TNF-alpha has been documented in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Etanercept, an anti-TNF therapeutic, was delivered to patients to reduce elevated TNF.
© 2008/iStockphoto.com/Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo
Etanercept binds to and inactivates excess TNF. The medication is FDA approved to treat a number of immune-mediated disorders and was used off label in this study.
The study highlights one patient, but many other patients with mild to severe Alzheimer’s disease received the treatment, and all have shown sustained and marked improvement.
Source.“Reversal of Alzheimer’s Symptoms Within Minutes.” (2008, January 9). Retrieved January 11, 2008, from http://www.newswise.com/p/articles/view/536734/…