Medical practice is based on relevant research. While there is no cure, scientists and researchers have found that certain newly approved medications, advanced testing, and increasing knowledge about the disease may improve the lives of Alzheimer’s patients. Current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease temporarily improve early signs of memory loss, reasoning and thinking problems. These treatments enhance the activity of certain brain chemicals that carry information from one brain cell to another. The standard treatment approach includes acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or memantine. However, these treatments cannot stop the decline and death of brain cells. As the disease progresses with age, more cells die.

Researchers are cautious but have hope for the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease in developing treatments that can stop or delay the progression. The goal of current Alzheimer research is to understand better how the disease changes the brain. This has led to various clinical trials of potential treatments that may directly affect the disease process.  Future treatments for Alzheimer’s disease include a combination of medications. The future treatment approach is similar to that introduced for many cancers or HIV/AIDs, including more than one medicine.  Check out some current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and future prospects below. 

Targeting plaque

Some of the new Alzheimer’s disease treatments target clumps of the beta-amyloid protein, known as plaques in the brain. This build-up of plaque is a clear sign of Alzheimer’s disease.  

  1. Sign up for the immune system – Medicines known as monoclonal antibodies may prevent the accumulation of monoclonal bodies. They are also effective at removing the plaques that have formed. They work by eliminating the build-up of plaque from the brain. These medicines act like the antibodies your body produces as part of your immune response to foreign attackers or vaccines.
  2. The US Food and drug association has approved the monoclonal antibody aducanumab to treat Alzheimer’s symptoms in some people. The medication was studied in people with early Alzheimer’s disease. The drug removes amyloid plaques. But studies revealing its effectiveness in slowing the decline in memory loss are mixed.
  3. Another medicine, lecanemab, is effective for people with mild Alzheimer’s symptoms and cognitive impairment. This drug is given intravenously in the arm. In phase three of Alzheimer’s clinical trials, researchers found that lecanemab slowed a decline in memory loss in people with early Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Donanemab, a monoclonal antibody, has also shown promising results. The results of the third phase of the clinical trial are expected in 2023.  
  5. Saracatinib is a medicine developed as a possible cancer treatment and is now being tested for Alzheimer’s disease. It was successfully tested in mice and caused a reversal of some memory loss. Human trials are now underway.  
  6. Several medicines work by blocking the action of certain enzymes responsible for the production of amyloid protein. These drugs are known as beta and gamma-secretase inhibitors. According to a research study, beta-secretase inhibitors have failed to slow memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients.  

Prevent tangling of tau protein.

A vital cell transport system is affected when tau protein twists into tiny fibres (tangles). They are one of the brain changes in Alzheimer’s affected brain. Ongoing research for looking at a way to prevent tau from forming tangles.

Reducing inflammation

Alzheimer’s, more commonly known as the forgetting disease, causes cell inflammation, and researchers are studying ways to treat the processes that contribute to inflammation in Alzheimer’s affected brain. Sargramostim is believed to stimulate the immune system to safeguard the protein from harmful proteins. The product is currently in research.

Determining insulin resistance

Alzheimer’s research studies look into how insulin affects brain cell function. Researchers are determining the link between insulin changes in the brain and Alzheimer’s disease.  

Researching the heart-head connection

According to scientists, brain health is closely associated with heart health. The risk of developing dementia increases due to conditions that damage the heart. These include diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Researchers are determining whether hypertensive agents may benefit Alzheimer’s patients or not. Also, the goal is to find new medicines for the brain disorder.

Music and Alzheimer’s

Research has shown a connection between music and Alzheimer’s. Music may improve behavioral issues common in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s. Even in the later stages of the disease, when dementia has progressed, music allows for self-engagement. Identifying enjoyable music for Alzheimer’s patients helps evoke emotions and memories. Music encourages movement (dancing, clapping) that adds to the enjoyment. If possible, let the patient choose their favorite one. Music provides a way to connect even when verbal communication becomes difficult.

Bottom line!

Yet despite clinical research trials of disease-modifying treatments, research has so far not achieved disease-modifying therapeutic results for Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia across the world. However, current treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and future prospects gives hope to Alzheimer’s patients and their families. In addition, care provided by family members and loved ones can make them calm and comfortable.

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