January 15, 2019
Exciting research is zeroing in ever closer to the eradication of Alzheimer’s disease, this time in the form of two medications already developed and approved by the FDA. This enables expedited clinical trials and we hope fast-tracking us nearer to a treatment.
The first, interestingly, is a medication used for treating HIV. Researchers and scientists discovered that the genetic blueprint in Alzheimer’s patients is modified as the disease advances, like the genetic shuffling which occurs in those with HIV. The idea is that putting a halt to the movement of those specific genes can prevent the advancement of the disease.
As stated by lead researcher Jerold Chun, “For the first time, we can see what may cause the disease. We also uncovered a potential near-term treatment.”
Secondly, scientists at Mount Sinai have discovered that medications used to lower blood glucose in diabetics, such as metformin, may have a direct effect in the reduction of the plaques and tangles connected with Alzheimer’s. Although this may be helpful now for diabetics with Alzheimer’s who are already taking this medication, further research is necessary before testing on Alzheimer’s patients without diabetes due to the possibility of dangerously low blood glucose as well as other negative effects. Optimistically, the study results add an additional piece to the puzzle of dementia.
These results “…point us to the biological mechanisms that are being affected by those drugs. Hopefully, now we can find drugs that would have similar effects on the brain without changing the blood sugar levels,” explained Vahram Haroutunian, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
With as many as six million Americans currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and a projected increase to 14 million diagnoses within the next 40 years, it is vital for medical scientists to better understand the root cause, effective treatment plans, and eventually a cure for this disease that has certainly grown to be an epidemic.
The Alzheimer’s care professionals at Continuum, the top providers of in-home senior healthcare in St. Louis monitor these as well as other breakthroughs, while providing the top quality care that maximizes overall wellbeing while giving members of the family much-needed peace of mind. Our caregivers are fully trained and exceptionally skilled in helping manage a number of the more challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, such as wandering, aggression, sundowning, inappropriate behaviors, and many more. And our aim is always to ensure seniors diagnosed with dementia have the ability to live life to its fullest potential, while remaining secure and comfortable in their home.
Call us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 to learn more about our St. Louis area services, or to request resources that will help you and your family member navigate the process of Alzheimer’s.