As many as 5.7 million seniors are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease – a full 10% of the over-65 population. Because that number is expected to soar to as many as 14 million by the year 2050, the race is on as researchers scramble to uncover a cure, or at least an effective treatment option. And aside from the emotional toll the disease takes on both those diagnosed and their loved ones, the financial impact is staggering, costing as much as $277 billion in 2018 and anticipated to grow to over $1 trillion by 2050.
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation has recently revealed its 2017 Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Report, and the findings are fascinating. There are currently 126 Alzheimer’s disease research projects in the clinical stage, specifically to address symptom management of these common effects of Alzheimer’s:
Additionally, researchers are looking deeper into the underlying causes of the disease, beyond the common suspected beta-amyloid link. Following are the top types of interventions being tested:
Neuroprotection: A number of drugs are showing promising results in preventing neuron damage and improving neuron survival and regeneration.
Chronic Inflammation: Prior studies have attempted to link inflammation with Alzheimer’s, but the anti-inflammatories tested proved ineffective. However, more recent research includes newer inflammation-targeting drugs, aimed at enhancing the immune cells and removing toxic proteins.
Genetics: Alzheimer’s disease research that began two years ago in exploring epigenetic therapy is now advancing to include a chemotherapy medication to attempt to regulate the expression of certain genes.
Repurposed Medications: Less costly and with shorter testing requirements than new drug development, trials of existing medications to test their effectiveness against Alzheimer’s are underway.
Early Intervention: A new emphasis is being placed on treating patients who display biological markers indicating an increased risk of developing the disease, but not yet displaying symptoms. While these trials may involve invasive medical procedures, such as spinal taps, the ability to prevent or at least slow the progression of the disease is worth considering.
Heaven at Home Senior Care will continue to monitor Alzheimer’s disease research and clinical trials in the journey towards a cure. In the meantime, we are also available to provide specialized, compassionate, and highly skilled Alzheimer’s care for seniors. We begin by creating a personalized plan of care to address immediate concerns, and then monitor that plan ongoing to ensure the right amount of care is always provided as needs change – right in the comfort of home. Contact us online or call us at (940) 380-0500 to learn more about our exceptional home and respite care in Denton and the surrounding communities, or to schedule a free in-home assessment.