Statistics are driving research toward new findings
Today, there are6.5 million cases of Alzheimer’s in America. Discoveries for testing and
treatment for Alzheimer’s will change these figures. The task is to focus our attention on
funding research and educating public awareness. New tests for diagnosis and medications
for clinical trials will increase the chances of a breakthrough for this
disease. The caregiver community and those who experience this debilitating illness
need support and understanding.
There are now over a hundred types of Dementia
Alzheimer’s destroys nerve cells and alters the brain.
These changes interfere with our ability to think and hold memories.
As time goes on, people’s behavior changes; and there is an indication that
something is wrong. Some of the symptoms are:
Lack of cleanliness
“Old Timers” vs. Alzheimer’s disease
In 1906, Alois Alzheimer noted
changes in the brain that control memory loss, language, and behavior. He was
responsible for the early identification of variations in the brain that cause
this disease. About fifty years ago, a senility reference to the elderly was
known as “Old timers” disease. When spoken with a slight accent,
“Old timers” sounds remarkably like Alzheimer’s. Now decades later, the illness
does not only affect old timers. New studies tell us that a small percentage of
people aged 40-60 are diagnosed with memory loss.
Doctors use these procedures for diagnosis
New blood test approved by the FDA in 2020
This blood test detects a protein build-up in the brain. Tests
identify the disease even before symptoms begin to show. When the doctor discovers
early signs of the disease, it is possible to treat and prolong the symptoms.
This blood test is a tool for diagnosing Alzheimer’s. Perhaps soon, health
providers and consumers will advocate for insurance coverage.
The earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances are for improvement from treatment
Treatments include medications such as Aricept, Namenda,
and Donepezil. These medications assist in reducing symptoms but are not a cure
for the disease. In addition, education from your physician is a necessary part of the care
plan. Health providers discuss any side effects from the medication and then
help you consider the benefits and the risks. Your doctor may also suggest
starting a healthy diet, behavior monitoring, light exercise, and keeping a
record of sleep habits to help ease the symptoms.
Clinical trials for the FDA approved medication, Aducanumab
Clinical studies indicate that the antibody, Aducanumab
may decrease the protein deposits in the brain. An interrupted decline in the
early stages of the disease may reduce the chances of further illness. Medicare
for those in the clinical trials who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Side
effects of the drug can cause dizziness, headaches, and falls for some people.
Questions still exist related to the benefits and the risks of this medication.
In addition, specific testing and X-rays are required for a diagnosis before
approval for the use of Aducanumab in a clinical trial.
And finally, there is some good news!
In March 2022, Congress approved $289 million for research funding for Alzheimer’s. New research
for testing and treatment for Alzheimer’s may change disease outcomes. The task is to focus the
attention on funding research and increasing public awareness. A solid
commitment to public health is necessary to reduce the incidences of this
See further articles with new information about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.