Alzheimer's is a heartbreaking disease that robs those afflicted of their independence and memories. Thankfully, there is hope as doctors, researchers and medical institutions across the country look for better ways to treat and even prevent this disease altogether. Following are three Alzheimer's medical developments happening in 2017 that are worth noticing.
Increased Cooperation Between Scientists
M.D. Anderson's Institute for Applied Cancer Science in Houston is bringing scientists and drug industries together to research ways to slow the advance of Alzheimer's.
These researchers are currently working on a number of hypotheses, targeting the problem from multiple directions. They expect to be able to find one or more ways to stop the degradation of the brain immediately after Alzheimer's strikes.
They note that this project, unlike other ventures, is funded solely by donations and has as its sole aim the release of new, effective treatments as soon as possible.
Application of Biotechnology
Caprion Biosciences and Biomarkers Consortium have recently begun working together on an innovative new project. They are teaming up and combining forces to create a biomarker that can be used to track changes in patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease.
Unlike other effective yet rarely used testing methods; such as brain imaging and the extraction of cerebral fluid - biomarkers are commonly used in clinical practice. These markers have the potential to make it easy for any doctor to see if someone is in the very early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Biomarkers can also be used to track the progression of the disease.
Alzheimer's Prevention Tests
It is heartening to see medical researchers emphasizing testing new approaches to prevent Alzheimer’s. Here are some of the tests that have taken place this year:
The A4 trial is using s a new drug called solanezumab to target beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is a component found in the brain that, in high levels, is thought to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's.
The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network - Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) trial is using drugs solanezumab and gantenerumab to reduce beta-amyloid. Patients with a high hereditary risk of developing Alzheimer's are eligible to participate.
The Tomorrow trial is testing the use of anti-diabetes drug pioglitazone in preventing mild cognitive impairment.
The Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative (API) trial focuses on the use of an immune-based therapy to reduce excess beta-amyloid build-up.
Today's medical researchers have a far better understanding of healthy brain function than their counterparts in times past. Remedies that seemed too good to be true years ago could become a reality one day, freeing seniors the world over from ever having to deal with the pain of Alzheimer's disease.
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