Alzheimer’s Research Update

4/24/2014

Nursing-Home-Care-(2)Alzheimer’s is a well known disease that has gained more attention over the past several years. It is the most common form of dementia, which progresses and gets worse over time, eventually leading to the death of the afflicted person. The symptoms are loss of short term memory, change in mood, personality, and behavior, and long term memory loss. Eventually, the Alzheimer’s patient may reach the point where even their own identity is a mystery to them.

The disease is devastating physically and emotionally for both the patient and their friends and loved ones. Having to watch someone slowly lose the memories and the personality that defined them for a lifetime is something that no person should go through. Unfortunately, however, people still do, and there is still no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

This is by no means due to a lack of trying. Alzheimer’s research has been conducted since we have known the specifics of the disease, and while researchers continue to isolate and reverse the individual causes of the disease, there is still a long way to go. Pharmaceutical companies have been trying to create drugs that will combat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s while researchers search for the root cause.

As of now, there are five FDA approved Alzheimer’s drugs that can treat Alzheimer’s symptoms. Donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and tacrine are cholinesterase inhibitors that slow down the breakdown of a key neurotransmitter in the brain. The fifth drug, memantine, regulates the activity of glutamate, one of the chemicals involved in memory. These drugs unfortunately only treat the symptoms of Alzheimers, and not the underlying cause. Furthermore, the drugs are effective for only about 6-12 months, and only for about half of the patients who take them.

While researchers and scientists are working on developing drugs that would treat the entire disease and not just the symptoms, all drugs are currently in the trial stages and have yet to be proven. Before the drugs can be approved, they need to be tested in human trials by volunteers, and like all scientific breakthroughs, more time is needed.

What we can be sure of is that the people researching Alzheimer’s disease are not going to stop, and will continue to search for the cure until one is found. While it may be a long and arduous journey, we will eventually eradicate this disease and cure all of those who are afflicted by it. Eventually, we will stop the suffering that Alzheimer’s is causing.

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Baltimore City: Baltimore (21201, 21202, 21205, 21211, 21214, 21216, 21218, 21231, 21251, 21287, 21203, 21233, 21263, 21264, 21265, 21270, 21273, 21274, 21275, 21278, 21279, 21280, 21281, 21283, 21288, 21290, 21297, 21298), Raspeburg (21206), Gwynn Oak (21207), Pikesville (21208), Mt Washington (21209), Roland Park (21210), Govans (21212), Clifton (21213), Arlington (21215), Druid (21217), Dundalk (21222), Franklin (21223), Highlandtown (21224), Brooklyn (21225), Curtis Bay (21226), Halethorpe (21227), Catonsville (21228), Carroll (21229), Morrell Park (21230), Parkville (21234), Nottingham (21236), Rosedale (21237), Northwood (21239)

Howard County: Annapolis Junction (20701), Laurel (20723), Fulton (20759), Savage (20763), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Brookeville (20833), Clarksville (21029), Dayton (21036), Ellicott City (21042, 21043, 21041), Columbia (21044, 21045, 21046), Elkridge (21075), Hanover (21076), Marriottsville (21104), Woodstock (21163), Cooksville (21723), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Mount Airy (21771), Sykesville (21784), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Simpsonville (21150), Lisbon (21765

Montgomery County: Laurel (20707), Highland (20777), Glen Echo (20812), Bethesda (20814, 20816, 20817, 20889, 20892, 20894, 20813, 20824, 20827), Chevy Chase (20815, 20825), Cabin John (20818), Olney (20832, 20830), Brookeville (20833), Barnesville (20838), Beallsville (20839), Boyds (20841), Dickerson (20842), Rockville (20850, 20851, 20852, 20853, 20847, 20848, 20849) Potomac (20854, 20859), Derwood (20855), Sandy Spring (20860), Ashton (20861), Brinklow (20862), Burtonsville (20866), Spencerville (20868), Clarksburg (20871), Damascus (20872), Germantown (20874, 20876, 20875), Gaithersburg (20877, 20878, 20879, 20882, 20899, 20884, 20885, 20898), Montgomery Village (20886), Kensington (20895, 20891), Silver Spring (20901, 20902, 20903, 20904, 20905, 20906, 20910, 20907, 20908, 20911, 20914, 20915, 20916), Takoma Park (20912, 20913), Mount Airy (21771), Woodbine (21797), Washington (20088), Hyattsville (20787), Washington Grove (20880), Garrett Park (20896)

Frederick County: Frederick (21701, 21702, 21703), Woodsboro (21798), New Market (21774), Walkersville (21793) Monrovia (21770), Clarksburg (20871), Ijamsville (21754)

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