Alzheimer’s disease is complicated and extremely difficult for families and caregivers to endure while they watch their loved ones go through its heart-wrenching effects. But strides are being made, two specifically, that are bringing researchers hope that soon there will be a treatment on the market to halt the progression of deterioration in those with mild symptoms.
Two treatments could slow Alzheimer’s effects
In July, it was announced by experts at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2012 that the first long-term treatment to slow the effects of the disease, Gammagard, is showing progress. Then, in August, it was announced that another treatment, developed by Eli Lilly and Co., is showing promising signs to slow cognitive decline in patients.
An estimated 5.5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, an incurable disease characterized by deterioration of brain cells and dementia. Those with the disease experience diminished memory — both short- and long-term — and slowly lose recognition of everyday people and things.
Strides in research bring hope
According to USA Today, research by the Washington University School of Medicine indicates that Alzheimer’s disease starts changing the brain 25 years before someone even begins showing symptoms. The research, published in July in The New England Journal of Medicine, sheds light on the treatments being tested in trials throughout the country.
One of the treatments being tested, Gammagard, is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat other diseases. The treatment is being tested by Alzheimer’s disease patients and while the studies have not shown any improvement in most of the disease’s symptoms, the important part that USA Today notes is patients did not show any further decline in cognition, memory, mood or daily functioning.
Currently, no treatments stop the brain cell deterioration from the disease.
Another treatment being tested by Eli Lilly and Co. is the first drug in its class that shows positive results in people with Alzheimer’s, according to USA Today. The results indicate the treatment targets proteins in the brain and makes changes that stop or slow the progression of the disease from more debilitating stages.
American House cares
Hopefully, the next decade will bring a treatment that will stop the steady decline of the effects of Alzheimer’s. To help, 30 percent of our sponsorship money through the American House Foundation will go directly toward researching age-related issues, such as Alzheimer’s. At American House, we care about our residents and their loved ones and we strive to bring you the most up-to-date information on research. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask us.
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