Alzheimer’s disease is affecting more people than we could ever imagine. In the United States alone, an estimated 5.8 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s and that number will keep on increasing as the American population gets older.
While there is still no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, so much effort has been given by researchers and scientists in finding ways to detect the disease in its early stages. This will give patients the chance to recover fully with the help of facilities for Alzheimer’s and prevent irreversible brain damage.
Can Early Detection make a Difference in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients?
Alzheimer’s disease has left the medical world puzzled for years. Despite decades and millions spent on research and testing, there has still been no known cure for the disease and more often than not, diagnosis is done during the late stages of the disease process when signs and symptoms are already more prevalent.
Although facilities for Alzheimer’s have done an excellent job in giving patients the best quality of life despite their condition, the late diagnosis means loss of what could have been meaningful years in the lives of patients if they had been diagnosed and treated early.
Can Alzheimer’s Disease be Finally Detected in the Blood?
With the goal to find the earliest way to detect Alzheimer’s, researchers have been working on one of its most promising paths, the use of biological markers or “biomarkers.”
These are traces in the blood that could help detect the presence of the disease even before signs and symptoms start to appear.
According to medicinal chemist Derek Lowe, “every single Alzheimer’s agent for the past 25 years has failed egregiously. If we’re going to have any hope at all, we’ve got to get in as early as possible.”
This year is all about doing just that as several companies have announced trials to help determine the possibility of using biomarkers in detecting Alzheimer’s disease.
Leading the effort is Novartis that announced its partnership with the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix to test two drugs that will focus on targeting the amyloid plaques in the brain that’s distinctive in Alzheimer’s patients.
The trial will involve more than 1,300 individuals between 60-75 years old carrying the APOE4 gene that puts them at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers are also working on molecular screening to determine if collective panels will help determine the presence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease during its early stages.
Studies from Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, King’s College London and the University of Oxford have covered the possibility of molecular screening in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms start to appear.
Is the Future Bright for Alzheimer’s Disease Detection?
According to Howard Federoff of Georgetown University Medical Center, “it’s possible that we may actually find therapeutics that delay, among those who test positive, the emergence of symptoms.”
A lot of effort has been put into Alzheimer’s research to help give better outcomes for patients suffering from this debilitating disease.
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