Worldwide nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. (1)
In a previous blog post, we took a look at Alzheimer’s disease at large. Doctors and researchers around the world are constantly looking for new developments and researching treatment options for the growing population of patients. For a long time, doctors struggled with diagnosing the condition as there are many causes, and as a result many patient subgroups.
Current Alzheimer’s Research
Alzheimer’s disease research has come a long way over the years. In April of this year, researchers and doctors finally came to a consensus over an Alzheimer’s classification system. This came after a nine-year battle trying to standardize Alzheimer’s biomarkers. A biomarker is a measurable substance in an organism whose presence is indicative of a disease. Alzheimer’s can now be classified into three subgroups:
- A: amyloid proteins that form clusters to block cell signaling
- T: tau proteins are destroyed closing pathways for metabolic products
- N: neuronal injury where specific areas of the brain shrink
Recategorizing patients into subgroups leads to more concentrated treatment efforts. Until now, all Alzheimer’s patients were treated the same regardless of symptoms, making therapy increasingly difficult to implement. Therapies that worked for one patient would not work for another. This new classification system alleviates this issue giving doctors the ability to recommend specific therapies based on a patient-specific subgroup.
healtheo360 is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of a medical treatment guidance solution for community members. Join our community today!
Increasing Alzheimer’s Research Funding
Still without a permanent cure, Alzheimer’s disease research remains a necessity for the well-being of the 5.5 million Americans and over 40 million Alzheimer’s patients around the globe. (1)
On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, a group of public health leaders, caregivers, patients, and the Senate Special Committee on Aging met to discuss the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s (BOLD) Act. First introduced last summer, the BOLD Act has support from several senators on both sides of the aisle. The bill stipulates that $37 million annually would be allocated for resource center development, which would significantly benefit rural Alzheimer’s patients.
As the need for a cure increases, so too do the cries to pass the bill. While funding has increased nearly a half-billion dollars last year to a $1.8 billion total, those on the Senate committee pushing the BOLD Act would like to see spending eclipse $2 billion annually.
The increase in funding would be used to support both Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers through resources, rehabilitation, and therapies. These resources would increase the number of available support groups so that patients and their caregivers do not have to feel alone.
Become a Member of an Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group
Our Alzheimer’s support group is designed for both patients, loved ones, and medical professionals to share their stories of living with this debilitating disease. AD is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. This group brings Alzheimer’s patients and loved ones together to battle this condition together in the hopes of one day finding a cure.
Dinerstein, Chuck. “Bringing a Common Language to Alzheimer's Research.” Genetic Literacy Project, Genetic Literacy Project, 12 June 2018, geneticliteracyproject.org/2018/06/13/bringing-a-common-language-to-alzheimers-research/.
Mauriello, Tracie. “Senate Panel Looks to Fund Alzheimer's Research and Resources.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 19 June 2018, www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2018/06/19/BOLD-Act-Susan-Collins-Bob-Casey-Alzheimers-research-resources/stories/201806190153.