Baxter International Inc.’s Gammagard failed to help patients with Alzheimer’s disease in a late-stage study, adding to a string of failures to develop a treatment for the most common form of dementia.
The cost of caring for dementia patients has reached $109 billion annually, exceeding that for heart disease and cancer, and will double by the time the youngest Baby Boomers reach their 70s, according to a study.
DiaGenic ASA, a Norwegian company developing tests to diagnose illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, rose the most in more than three weeks in Oslo after saying a patent application had been approved in Canada.
Advanced imaging that detects plaque in the brain should be covered by Medicare and private insurers for select people with dementia to help diagnose or rule out Alzheimer’s disease, advocates and doctors said.
Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost 1 percent of the gross domestic product globally this year and that treatment tab will grow, making urgent the need for more research toward a cure, an advocacy group said.
Doctors should screen for Alzheimer’s as soon as mild cognitive symptoms occur and encourage genetic testing for patients, according to the first new guidelines for the disease in almost three decades.
In separate probes into the roots of Alzheimer’s, scientists have uncovered a rare gene mutation that keeps plaque from forming in the brain and found the disease may take hold 25 years before symptoms appear.