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2008 Grants - Padala
Improving Function, Quality of Life and Glycemia in Diabetics with Dementia
Prasad R. Padala, M.D.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
2008 New Investigator Research Grant
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is an established risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Hence, there are many individuals with both conditions. The coexistence of these diseases causes additional problems. For example, one symptom of Alzheimer's disease is apathy regarding one's own health care. Such apathy causes individuals who also have diabetes to exhibit worse control of their blood sugar (glycemia) and subsequently to experience a lower quality of life.
Prasad R. Padala, M.D., and colleagues have conducted small studies of the drug methylphenidate in patients with both Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. They have found evidence that such treatment reduces apathy, thereby motivating patients to improve their glycemic control and other aspects of health care and quality of life. Studies to date have not been blinded or placebo-controlled, thus the results are not definitive.
Dr. Padala and colleagues plan to conduct a blinded, controlled trial of methylphenidate in people with Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. They plan to measure apathy using validated scales, as well as glycemic control, cognitive function, functional status and quality of life. This study may help determine if methylphenidate is an effective treatment for apathy in people with Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.