20 Oct 2017
Alzheimer’s disease is a serious condition that affects many aging and elderly people. This disease is quite insidious, so many doctors and scientists dedicate their careers to researching the condition in an effort to eradicate it, or at least lessen the severity of it. Some of the most recent advances in Alzheimer’s research are outlined below.
New Treatments Are Being Tested
Several of the new treatment methods scientists have developed failed once they reached the phase 3 trial stage. However, that is not uncommon. New drugs are being developed all the time and improvements are being made to them as a result of those failures.
Right now there are over 120 Alzheimer’s treatments that are in clinical trials and more than 20% of them are supported by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF).
Inflammation Has Become A Target Of Drug Therapy
Inflammatory responses increase with age. Since aging is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, it stands to reason that inflammation is associated with cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Those who study Alzheimer’s know that inflammation in the brain damages neurons and contributes to the condition. Scientists are now developing medications that specifically target inflammation to help reduce the negative effects it has on the brain and the progression of the disease.
The Breakthrough of Epigenetics
Epigenetics is the study of the idea that environmental factors not only affect the health of a person who is exposed to them, but affect the health of the person’s descendants as well. Epigenetic treatments are designed to alter how much genes work. Last year, clinical trials for the first epigenetic treatments for neurodegenerative diseases entered clinical trials. The developments in this area will help doctors see epigenetic changes in the brain and determine how effective drug treatments are.
Physical Activity and Dietary Elements
Not all Alzheimer’s research is drug-based. Other research has indicated that changes in physical activity and diet can have a profound effect can help to maintain cognitive ability and reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly. Increased physical activity and adding Vitamin D and antioxidant- rich foods such as walnuts benefit brain function.