Alzheimer's Disease: The Risks and The Research


Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the biggest public health concerns of our time. At Alliance, we’ve seen first hand the devastating affects of this disease. Our dedication to supporting Alzheimer’s research will continue until a cure is discovered. In the meantime, we thought we’d share a few recent advancements in the field and how our clients can participate.

Identifying Alzheimer’s Risk Factors:

We published a post last year about the importance of knowing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Since then, experts have created a new checklist for early identification of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. This new checklist expands beyond changes in memory and considers mood, personality and behavior deviations that can occur very early in cognitive disease.

Experts are using this checklist to propose a new diagnosis, called mild behavioral impairment (MBI). Most people think of Alzheimer’s as a memory disorder, but the disease starts, in many cases, as a behavioral issue. It’s been shown that people who experience behavioral changes may develop full-fledged dementia faster and more intensely than those who do not. MBI could precede mild cognitive impairment and urge healthcare providers to begin treatment sooner.

You can see a draft of this new checklist here.

Medications On The Horizon:

A recent experimental drug, named LMTX, created by TauRx Pharmaceutical in the United Kingdom, proved to benefit a small group of patients who were not currently taking other approved Alzheimer’s medications. Ultimately, the drug failed to improve cognitive and functional skills in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, but important information was discovered.

Results of this trial have helped researchers understand more about the Alzheimer’s-related protein, tau. Tau is responsible for forming tangles of nerve fibers that damage cognitive functioning. The creation of tau-related drugs is exciting, as current treatment methods, targeting beta-amyloid proteins (a protein that forms plaques in the brain), have been unsuccessful.

We encourage all clients and their loved ones suffering from dementia to be proactive in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association Trial Match web page to search current research studies, find a match that suits your circumstance, and volunteer to participate.

 

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