It’s been a century since Alois Alzheimer first spotted the plaques and tangles inside the brain of his patient, Auguste D. Our understanding of the disease that bears his name has since grown considerably, much of it in recent decades. But even as scientists around the world scrutinize the various aspects of this baffling disease, myriad mysteries remain. What exactly is the cause of Alzheimer’s?
Having Alzheimer’s doesn’t guarantee that you’ll move to a nursing home someday, but it certainly does increase the odds. As the disease progresses, you may begin to experience wandering and exhibit behaviors diat will become increasingly difficult for your caregiver to manage. You may also require greater physical care than your caregiver can provide.
The quest for medications beyond the five currently approved by the FDA is ongoing, rigorous, and intense. It appears to be a matter of time before new therapies are approved. These are just a few of the drugs now being studied:
Nutrition research in recent decades has found a major link between the foods we eat and the state of our health. Not surprisingly then, some scientists are examining whether certain ingredients in foods may help ward off Alzheimer’s.
Huperzine A is an herbal supplement derived from the plant Huperzia serrata. In China, it has been used for centuries as a treatment for swelling, fever, and blood disorders. Recent clinical trials in China have reportedly shown that huperzine can also benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Dreams of a vaccine to protect against Alzheimer’s have not completely vanished with the discontinuation of AN-1792, a vaccine under investigation by Elan Pharmaceutical.
People who have high cholesterol are often given medications known as statins, a class of drugs chemically known as 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitors.
Research is starting to show that Alzheimer’s may be prevented with the right lifestyle choices. The good news is, the same strategies that keep diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers at bay may also play a role in reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s.
Advances in the treatment of Alzheimer’s could not be achieved without the help of investigators. But the research wouldn’t be possible without the participation of important people: the patients.
Home Instead Senior Care®, the world’s leading provider of home care services for seniors, today announced new survey results revealing that Americans fear developing Alzheimer’s disease more than any other major life-threatening disease, including cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes.