Studies on Alzheimer’s Focus upon Prevention among Healthy Elderly People

by Stephen Riddle

All those people who already suffer from some sort of mental decline, for them it might be too late to Alzheimer’s. Now, the question is, what if a type of treatment could focus upon the early brain changes while memory and thinking skills are still intact, in order to raise the hope of preventing the disease? There are two big studies conducted, going all out to try. Clinics all over the United States and some other countries are signing up participants, to make healthy elderly people enroll themselves for this type of study. So far, science has failed to find a drug that can make changes to the progression of Alzheimer’s. Over the last 10 years, 146 attempts have failed. Even, those drugs that help to remove sticky plaques which clog the brains of human beings with the disease have still not proved itself to prevent the mental decline.

Dr. Reiman further said that it might well have been the situation; they were tried out when things had become all too late. The Neuroscience Chief at the National Institute of Aging, Dr. Eliezer Masliah said that what they have learned in quite a painful manner is the fact, if doctors really wish to come up with the therapies to modify the disease, they will need to start very early. The primary goal is to try and block the early stages of plaque formation in healthy people.

Still matching up the genes does not always mean if anyone has the gene, those with as well as without gene might get contacted for different studies. Those who participate, get through brain scans periodically along with the memory and thinking tests every six months. They are provided with experimental drugs for a number of years. One of the studies is getting people enrolled with two copies of the gene. They are given shots of experimental drugs or placebo version every few months of the drug, which is intended to help the immune system get cleared of the plaque from the brain. Another study is conducted among people who either carry two copies of APOE4 or just one copy of the gene plus proof of the brain scans, which show building up of plaque.

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