Researchers are still working on finding a drug that might either stop or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Once that breakthrough comes, it will be very good news for patients and their families.
Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is not an uncommon condition. It affects approximately 5.3 million people in the United States and their families. In most instances, patients are age 65 and older (5.1 million cases). There are about 200,000 people under age 65 living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
Women are more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease than men. Of the people over 65 living with Alzheimer’s disease, 3.2 million are women and 1.9 million are men.
Potential New Treatment For Alzheimer’s And Other Diseases
One potential new treatment scientists are working on for Alzheimer’s has the potential to help patients living with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy body dementia, as well as Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease patients have two toxic proteins, called beta-amyloid and tau, in their brain. They are the result of a process that starts when a healthy protein gets folded into the incorrect shape. Once the misshapen protein encounters another protein in the cell, it grabs onto it, and both of them become the wrong shape.
Previous work to treat these diseases was focused on the differences in proteins inside the brain that are thought to cause them. Researchers decided to look at this idea from the opposite approach and ask whether the proteins have something in common instead.
This turned out to be the right way to look at the problem, since the proteins misfold and then turn into toxic lumps. The researchers decided they would take a closer look at these clumps, without being overly concerned about the type of protein that they contain. The result of their work was a “class of monoclonal antibodies” that act in the same manner as guided missiles to locate and take out protein clumps in brain cells.
Customized Palliative And Hospice Medicine
If you or someone you love is living with a debilitating disease like Alzheimer’s, our caring and professional pharmacists can work with the doctor as well as with hospice to develop a custom palliative and hospice medicine solution that works best for you or your loved one’s individual needs.