5.7 million American seniors, or 10 percent of those over age 65, are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease – and that number is anticipated to increase to as much as 14 million by the year 2050. The race is on as experts scramble to uncover a cure or at least an effective treatment option. Besides the emotional toll the illness takes on both individuals diagnosed and their loved ones, the financial impact is astonishing, costing up to $277 billion in 2018 and anticipated to grow to over $1 trillion by 2050.
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation has recently presented its 2017 Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Report, and the results are very interesting. There are at the present time 126 Alzheimer’s treatments in the clinical stage, specifically to address symptom management of these common results of Alzheimer’s:
- Sleep Disorders
Additionally, researchers are looking further into the inherent causes of the disease, beyond the normal suspected beta-amyloid link. Following are the top kinds of interventions being tried:
Neuroprotection: A wide range of drugs are showing promising results in reducing neuron damage and enhancing neuron survival and regeneration.
Chronic Inflammation: Prior research reports have attempted to link inflammation with Alzheimer’s; nevertheless, the anti-inflammatories tested proved ineffective. Having said that, more recent research includes newer inflammation-targeting drugs, geared towards improving the immune cells and removing toxic proteins.
Genetics: Research that launched 2 years ago in exploring epigenetic treatments is now advancing to include a chemotherapy medication to attempt to regulate the expression of certain genes.
Repurposed Medications: More affordable and with less testing requirements than new drug development, trials of present medications to evaluate their performance against Alzheimer’s are underway.
Early Intervention: A unique emphasis has been placed on treating patients who exhibit biological markers indicating an elevated risk of developing the disease, but not yet showing symptoms. Even though these trials may involve invasive medical procedures, such as spinal taps, the ability to prevent or at the least slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease may be worth considering.
North River Home Care will continue to monitor clinical trials as well as other progress in the journey towards a remedy. We also provide specialized, compassionate, and highly trained Alzheimer’s caregiving for seniors. We begin by creating a personalized plan of care to deal with immediate concerns, and then monitor that plan ongoing so that the ideal level of care is always provided as needs change – right within the comfort of home. Call us at (781) 352-0939 in Norwell or (508) 544-0802 in Sandwich to learn more or to schedule a free in-home assessment.