Currently about 10% of the over-65 population, around 5.7 million seniors, are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease – and that number is likely to rise to as many as 14 million by the year 2050. The race is on as scientists scramble to uncover a remedy or, at the very least, a successful treatment option. And apart from the emotional toll the condition takes on both the individuals that are diagnosed and their family members, the financial impact is astounding, costing as much as $277 billion in 2018 and anticipated to grow to over $1 trillion by 2050.
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation recently presented its 2017 Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Report, and the findings were fascinating. There are currently 126 Alzheimer’s treatments in the clinical stage, specifically ones that deal with symptom management of these common results of Alzheimer’s:
Furthermore, scientists are looking deeper into the underlying causes of the disease, beyond the common suspected beta-amyloid link. Following are the leading kinds of interventions being tried:
Neuroprotection: Several drugs are displaying promising results in preventing neuron damage and improving neuron survival and regeneration.
Chronic Inflammation: Prior research reports have attempted to link inflammation with Alzheimer’s, but the anti-inflammatories tested proved ineffective. That said, more recent research includes newer inflammation-targeting drugs, geared towards enhancing the immune cells and removing toxic proteins.
Genetics: Research that began 2 years ago in exploring epigenetic therapy is now advancing to incorporate a chemotherapy medication to try and regulate the expression of certain genes.
Repurposed Medications: Less costly and with shorter testing requirements than new drug development, trials of established medications to evaluate their potency against Alzheimer’s are underway.
Early Intervention: An innovative new emphasis is being placed on treating patients who exhibit biological markers indicating an increased chance of developing the disease, although not yet showing symptoms. Even though these trials may involve invasive medical procedures, such as spinal taps, the capacity to prevent or at the least slow the progression of Alzheimer’s is really worth considering.
The Burbank elder care team of experts at JFS Care continues to monitor clinical trials and other progress in the journey towards a cure. In the meantime, we provide specialized, compassionate, and highly skilled Alzheimer’s caregiving for seniors. We start with creating a personalized plan of care to address immediate concerns, and then monitor that plan ongoing so that the right level of care is provided as needs change – right within the comfort of home. Call us at (213) 383-2273 or contact us online to learn more about our Burbank elder care team providing care to the whole region.