New Hope For Alzheimer’s Treatment

Kylie Gil, Media Writer

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Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys brain cells and memory. The Alzheimer’s Association has estimated the number of 5.7 million Americans spanning almost every age group have been living with Alzheimer’s since 2018. More than 5.5 million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are over the age of 65, accounting for 96% of total Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s is highly prevalent among senior citizens; one in ten people who are within the age of 65 and older are diagnosed with the disease. To this day, there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s.  Due to new scientific advances in medicine, the possibility of a cure for Alzheimer’s has provided a beacon of hope for many families across the globe. Junior Isabelle Martin expressed, “I’m hoping and praying that one day a treatment will be invented so that my grandma can go back to the way she was before she had Alzheimer’s.”

Recently, the genetic makeups of more than 94,000 clinically diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients were analyzed in both Europe and the United States. The discovery of four new genetic variants, conducted by a genetics company known as Nature Research, which works to increase the risk for developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, was led by the analyses. Researchers in charge of the study also found out that these genes, as well as others that have been previously identified, appear to affect the development of the disease by working in tandem to control body functions.

After more in-depth examinations of the genes are underway, scientists will be able to better understand their specific functions. How the genes affect Alzheimer’s development is currently under close investigation. Researchers are hoping to begin developing potential new drug treatments in the near future. Senior John Gomes stated, “I think medicine and our knowledge about brain diseases are improving rapidly which is a step in the right direction if we want to try and find a cure for Alzheimer’s someday.”

Recently, another antibody that is currently being tested, has also been providing a beacon of hope for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. Sophomore Gaby Martinez said, “I truly hope that more will be done to treat or cure Alzheimer’s as I know how hard it is for many people around the world who are suffering.” The antibody, called aducanab, has begun to show some promise in helping people to cope with the onset symptoms of Alzheimer’s. However, it is still unclear as to whether or not treatments, such as the antibody, can put a halt to or reverse the decline in memory and cognitive brain functions caused by Alzheimer’s.

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