Alzheimer’s Disease – What Might the Future Bring?
There is no cure yet for Alzheimer’s, but there are currently many research studies underway to learn more about this devastating illness and how it can be treated.
Alzheimer’s is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts quite slowly and then gets worse over time. Those who suffer from this disease experience short term memory loss, disorientation, problem with language, loss of motivation, mood swings, behavioural issues, confusion and much more. People can experience absent mindedness forgetting appointments, confusion in situations that are unusual, difficulty remembering information, repeatedly initiating the same conversation and even speech impairment.
We don’t fully understand the cause of Alzheimer’s disease – some theories believe that it is genetic and other possible risk factors include a history of depression, hypertension or head injuries. At the moment there is a worldwide effort to search for new treatments to prevent, slow and stop the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. These new drugs need to be tested extensively, which means that it can take years for them to be produced from the concept to the market. Experts are becoming hopeful about the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s treatments that will be able to stop or delay the progression of the disease.
Possible Future Treatments for Alzheimer’s
When it comes to treatments for this serious disease, what types of potential developments are researchers currently working on?
In recent years, researchers have made a lot of progress when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease and brain function. There will be a lot of hope for better treatments in the future, as scientists, doctors and researchers begin to develop new immunisations, treatments and prevention strategies for the disease. There are a lot of new drugs and treatments that are currently being looked at in research studies, including:
- Tau protein – Researchers think that this protein has the potential to keep the tau molecules from collapsing in on themselves, which destroys the transport system to the cells.
- Immunizations –There could possibly be an immunisation that could prevent beta-amyloid from clumping together into plaques, which would then allow the body to clear it from the brain.
- Production blockers – This treatment might be able to reduce the amount of beta-amyloid, which is formed in the brain.
- Insulin nasal spray – There is research currently underway into the effects of insulin on the brain and how these effects might relate to Alzheimer’s. It could be possible to develop an insulin nasal spray that could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
- Heart disease drugs – Researchers are looking into whether drugs that are used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes might also be useful in treating Alzheimer’s.
- Lifestyle choices – Researchers are also studying the effects of lifestyle choices, such as exercising and eating a heart healthy diet, on Alzheimer’s disease.
These are just a few of the many possibilities that researchers are investigating when it comes to treating Alzheimer’s in the future. As science develops, there will be many more possibilities that arise for potential treatments.
Medical Trials Essential for Developing Treatments
In order to develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, it is crucial for researchers to be able to conduct medical trials. When a new drug is developed it needs to be tested via clinical trials to find out whether it is safe to use on humans, what side effects it causes and what dosage is the most effective.
These dementias and Alzheimer’s research trials require the participation of volunteers – including people with the disease as well as healthy volunteers who can act as a comparison. If you choose to take part in one of these clinical trials for Alzheimer’s you can really help to further the research and work toward a possible cure.
For example, if you take part in a clinical trial you might be involved in trying out a new drug or therapy in order to find out whether it is effective. Or, you might be involved in a genetic research study that would include giving blood samples and undergoing memory tests.
When you take part in this research you will be making a difference for the future and help to improve the understanding of dementia, as well as improve the care for people who are living with Alzheimer’s. Also for those who have the disease taking part in a treatment gives people the chance to learn more about their condition and have their health monitored more closely. You can find trials to take part in by searching online or by asking your doctor about trials in your area.