However, thanks to on-going research into new treatment for Alzheimer’s, the future of those living with the disease looks brighter than ever. This includes research into lowering the risk of developing the disease and into slowing its progression down.
Want to know more about the latest research into treatments for Alzheimer’s disease? Then you’re in the right place! Read on to find out more.
A Brief History of Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment Options
For a long time, Alzheimer’s treatment options have been somewhat limited.
As it is a degenerative disease, treatments have generally focused on slowing the progression of the disease. Other treatments focus on managing symptoms.
That said, a lot of time has been put into researching treatment to ‘cure’, slow, or reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, this research has yielded few successful results.
The most recent disappointment came in March this year with the cancellation of trials of a new treatment, Aducanumab. In fact, there are over 137new medications in the pipeline for Alzheimer’s trials.
Let’s take a look at some of the different approaches that researches are taking towards treatments for Alzheimer’s.
New Treatment for Alzheimer’s Using Disease-Modifying Biologics
Biologics is another name for vaccines or antibiotics. These treatments use living organisms to control biological behavior. This includes the behavior of certain genes, proteins, or immune responses.
This useof biologics can help to target toxic amyloid and tau protein, two key players in the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Some other disease modifications can also be made using small molecules. These can target symptoms as well as contributing factors for the progression of Alzheimer’s. For example, sleep-enhancing medication can improve cognitive abilities in people with Alzheimer’s.
To really understand how these treatments can help, let’s take a look at how they impact Alzheimer’s.
Plaques are clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid, which are a common sign of Alzheimer’s. Breaking down these areas can help to significantly slow the profession of Alzheimer’s.
There are several ways that doctors can do this.
They can use the immune system and drugs containing monoclonal antibodies to prevent the build-up of beta-amyloid. These drugs can also help to break down existing clumps of beta-amyloid.
Another key player in the progression of Alzheimer’s is a drug also known as Fyn. When this combines with beta-amyloid it destroys the neurological synapses. However, the drug saracatinib can stop the production of Fyn and help to keep your synapses intact.
Preventing Tau Blockages
A vital protein in your brain, known as tau, plays a key role in transporting information around the brain.
However, a common result of Alzheimer’s is that this protein becomes twisted and tangled. This causes blockages so that information cannot travel from one part of the brain to another.
Research into inhibitors and vaccines preventing these blockages is currently being carried out. If successful, this could have a huge impact on the way that Alzheimer’s disease affects people’s cognitive abilities.
Another result of Alzheimer’s is chronic, low-level neurological inflammation. This has a huge impact on the cognitive abilities of people living with the disease.
Because of this, a lot of research into Alzheimer’s treatment focuses on how to reduce this inflammation. One particular drug currently studied is sargramostim. Researches suspect this may boost the immune system so that it protects the brain from inflammatory proteins.
If successful, this could become one of the widely used Alzheimer’s disease medications.
Research into Insulin Resistance
Studies of people with Alzheimer’s show that their brains undergo a change in insulin levels.
Some research has been done to see the effect of insulin-boosting nasal spray on those living with Alzheimer’s disease. While it did not appear to make a difference, further research into this area is on-going.
Studying Connections Between the Head and Heart
Studies show that there is a link between the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and the risk of developing heart conditions. In fact, if you experience one you’re more likely to experience the other.
Because of this, researchers have been looking at how looking after one area of the body, may benefit another. This includes research into:
• How drugs that control heart conditions, such as high blood pressure, may be useful treatments for Alzheimer’s
• The molecular structure of drugs that benefit heart health
• How lifestyle choices that benefit heart health may also reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s
While this research is on-going, there’s certainly no harm for your heart or head’s health in following a healthy lifestyle!
Hormonal Treatment of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s researchers have also been studying the link between estrogen and cognitive function.
Some research shows that hormone therapy in women helped to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This had the biggest impact for perimenopausal and menopausal women. In particular, it helped to protect their ability to think and recall memories.
More research is still needed in this area. However, this could be a huge breakthrough for women at risk of developing Alzheimer’s in later life!
The Future for Alzheimer’s Treatment Looks Bright!
As you can see, there are multiple avenues of new treatment for Alzheimer’s in the medical pipeline at the moment. This can provide those with a diagnosis with more hope than ever before.
For more tips and information on looking after your health, head over to our health and fitness blog.