Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Recent Research Roundup

alzheimer's research tampaIn honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, let’s take a look at some of the more recent discoveries regarding the development, prevention, and treatment of the disease.

  • Beta-amyloid, the protein that causes one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, may come from other parts of the body. This discovery could lead to medications that do not have to target the brain, which is difficult to treat and reach. Article 
  • Dendridic spines in the brain have been found to play a major role in the disease’s onset, even in patients with Alzheimer’s brain pathologies but no symptoms. This find could lead to therapies supporting dendritic spine health. Article 
  • Blood-thinning drugs like warfarin may protect against dementia in people who have atrial fibrillation.  Article
  • A vaccine being researched for the treatment of psoriasis and allergies may also help prevent Alzheimer’s by increasing the levels of certain antibodies. Article
  •  The green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) stops the formation of beta-amyloid plaques. Article 
  • Loss of estrogen during menopause may make women more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s. Article

Although Alzheimer’s was first discovered in 1906, the last 20 years have seen the first FDA approval of a drug for memory and thinking symptoms and the first potential diagnostic blood test. There are many more drugs in development that could have great potential in treating the disease.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more people every year than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Yet, research receives less funding from the National Institutes of Health than breast cancer. Additionally, there are not enough research volunteers.

Dr. Laurie Ryan of the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) states, “With more than 150 Alzheimer’s-related clinical trials and studies actively recruiting in the US, the NIA and other research institutes face tremendous challenges in recruiting the thousands of volunteers needed. Increasing participation remains a challenge but one that must be overcome if we are to reach our goal of finding effective intervention.”

Research is critical to discovering ways to prevent, intervene, and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Meridien Research has studies that are enrolling now at several of our clinics. For more information or to see if you or someone you know may qualify to participate, please contact us today at 1-888-777-8839 or visit our individual study pages.