Alzheimer’s disease is a mysterious neurological condition that we continue to learn more and more about every year. But even as we begin to understand it, treating it continues to be a challenge.
“Alzheimer’s disease is a triple threat, with soaring prevalence, lack of treatment and enormous costs that no one can afford. If we’re going to change the current trajectory of the disease, thus saving lives and money, we need consistent and meaningful investments in research from the federal government” explains Alzheimer’s Association president and CEO Harry Johns.
Current diagnosis techniques carry with them certain challenges and concerns.
Dr. Ralph Richter, of Tulsa Clinical Research describes “There is a certain fearfulness of having an MRI or other diagnostic procedures performed. Others are hesitant having to stop taking medications that are exclusionary by the study protocol.”
Furthermore, there are only five drugs that have been approved to treat Alzheimer’s disease, but even with those five drugs there is still no cure. Still, the potential treatments could, at the very least, provide some palliative care until a major cure or preventative measure can be developed.
Richter goes on to say, “Recognizing their concerns, being available to answer their many questions and being there for them and their family for support at all times, is what counts and makes patients decide to participate in a clinical research study.”
Richter acknowledges what might be more effective. “The focus today is mainly directed on early intervention,” he says, noting that finding a way they can reverse the progression of the disease is the top priority.
Finally, Richter contends, “A large portion of the aging population has already been diagnosed with the disease.”