With as many as 5.7 million seniors currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease—a full 10% of the over-65 population—and that number likely to soar to as much as 14 million by the year 2050, the race is on as experts scramble to uncover a cure or at the very least a successful treatment option. And aside from the emotional toll the condition takes on both individuals diagnosed and their loved ones, the financial impact is shocking, costing up to $277 billion in 2018 and likely to grow to over $1 trillion by 2050.
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation has recently introduced its 2017 Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Report, and the findings are fascinating. There are presently 126 Alzheimer’s disease treatment methods in the clinical stage, specifically to address symptom management of the common results of Alzheimer’s:
- Sleep Disorders
Additionally, scientists are searching deeper into the inherent causes of the disease, beyond the typical suspected beta-amyloid link. Following are the leading kinds of interventions being evaluated:
Repurposed Medications: Less expensive and with less testing requirements than new drug development, trials of established medications to test their potency against Alzheimer’s are underway.
Chronic Inflammation: Prior studies have tried to link inflammation with Alzheimer’s disease, but the anti-inflammatories tested proved ineffective. And yet, more recent research includes newer inflammation-targeting drugs, geared towards enhancing the immune cells and removing toxic proteins.
Genetics: Research that launched two years ago in exploring epigenetic therapy is now evolving to include a chemotherapy medication to try to regulate the expression of certain genes.
Neuroprotection: Several drugs are showing promising results in protecting against neuron damage and enhancing neuron survival and regeneration.
Early Intervention: A new emphasis will be placed on treating patients who display biological markers indicating an elevated chance of developing the condition, but not yet displaying symptoms. While these trials may involve invasive surgical procedures, such as spinal taps, the ability to prevent or at least slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease is really worth considering.
The Atlanta Alzheimer’s care team at Atlanta Home Care Partners will continue to monitor clinical trials and other progress in the journey towards a remedy. For the time being, our agency is also open to provide specialized, compassionate, and highly skilled Alzheimer’s caregiving for seniors. We begin by developing a personalized plan of care to handle immediate concerns, and then monitor that plan ongoing to guarantee the ideal amount of care is always provided as needs change—right in the comfort of home. Contact us at (404) 228-0103 to learn more or even to schedule a free of charge in-home assessment.