What are the Current Standings with Alzheimer’s Research?

Alzheimer’s is all over the news. It has always been an incredibly debilitating disease that has affected most American families in one form or another. At the very least, everyone has “heard” of someone afflicted, whether or not they were connected personally. Scientists have been unsuccessful in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. Doctors can generally make a correct diagnosis of Alzheimer’s based on the symptoms a person exhibits, however a definitive diagnosis of whether or not the dementia someone suffered was actually Alzheimer’s can only be provided at autopsy. Alzheimer’s does, however, ultimately account for 80% of dementia cases, and is the 6th leading cause of death in America. Current treatments can temporarily slow dementia symptoms, but no treatment can reverse or stop this fatal disease from ultimately taking hold.

Alzheimer’s research and studies are being published weekly across the world, and here in America we know all to well that our Boomer generation is moving in to becoming our oldest generation. With already staggering statistics on those currently suffering from Alzheimer’s, that number is expected to double or even triple over the next two decades. The sheer volume of Alzheimer’s sufferers in our society is going to take not only an emotional toll on our collective psyche, but become an incredible financial hardship for our country and it’s citizens.

For these reasons, researchers are ardently working to discover all that they can as quickly as they can about Alzheimer’s disease. Brain anomalies that scientists have identified are plaques, tangles, loss of brain cell connections, inflammation, and ultimately the death of brain cells. The consensus seems to be at this time that in order to find a cure, scientists must first discover a way to accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s. The goal is for such a diagnosis to be made very early, before any types of symptoms even arise.

Recent studies cover a variety of strategies and information regarding this disease. Research covers the gamut of early detection, prevention and treatment. A lot of articles throughout the last year tout a healthy lifestyle as a way to prevent Alzheimer’s. Even though we know there are no preventative measures, a healthy, active lifestyle is of course the best chance that anyone has to staving off a variety of diseases. Certain studies have concluded that a person with a parent who has Alzheimer’s is at higher risk of developing the disease as well. Two parents with the disease? An even higher risk. There has been success with brain scans that can pinpoint the beginning of plaque deposits in the brain, but they are not currently in widespread use as a diagnostic tool. Exercising the mind with memory enhancing puzzles and activities are popular in the senior market. As we age, our memory does change, and these activities can definitely strengthen our wits, but they cannot be considered an effective means to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Though the current climate surrounding this disease seems dismal, there is continued reason to hope. The best and brightest across the globe continue their relentless search for answers, and with each new piece of the puzzle we are one step closer to the end of Alzheimer’s. In the mean time, we can provide and care for our ailing loved ones with the best of ourselves we have to offer. Though caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is one of the most difficult and sad life experiences, elder care services in our country continue to expand and improve, providing a variety of support and care choices that respect those that once cared for us at our most vulnerable.

To learn more about elder care services available in South Florida, reach out to a Geriatric Care Manager. Visit us at Advocare, http://caremanage.com. We also provide, free of charge, home care consultation to assist with matching you with the best caregivers local home care agencies have to offer.

This article was written by and is the property of Advocare Elder Care Management.

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