June 4, 2020 - Thursday

ALZHEIMER’S PREVENTION – HOW CLOSE ARE WE?

ALZHEIMERS PREVENTIONAlzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys the memory, causes a decline in the ability to perform routine tasks, disorientation, difficulty in learning, loss of language skills, impairment in judgment, and personality changes. We can all agree that this is a very accurate description of what occurs. In our society at present we typically just refer to it as Dementia or Old Age Forgetfulness, and though it is tied into the aging process it is not normal.
Alzheimer’s disease has two hallmark characteristics that occur in the brain. One being an accumulation of a protein called Beta Amyloid, which form into something we refer to as senile plaques. The other is an accumulation of a protein called Tau, which forms into something we refer to as neurofibrillary tangles. These two proteins which form the plaques and tangles in a person’s brain who has Alzheimer’s disease are the two destructive forces that ultimately are killing the neurons and causing the damage.
Historically we would only be able to confirm the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease upon autopsy. However recent scientific advancements now enable us to diagnose the disease before a person actually has any symptoms of the disease through the use of specialized tests to measure for Biomarkers within a person’s body, PET CT’s utilizing a new tracer and specialized CSF analysis are two such biomarkers. This is of significance because it allows us to accurately tell if the process has already started even though one is not noticing the effects of the disease!
If we in fact can diagnose the disease before one suffers any losses it enables us to try to treat the disease proactively and hopefully prevent one from having full blown Alzheimer’s disease all together. This is precisely what several pharmaceutical companies are researching at the present time. The hope is that it is diagnosed while one is fully functioning; treat it with a new medication to prevent the two plaques from forming in the brain or removing them, thus halting the progress of this disease ahead of time. That sounds like a treatment and prevention strategy!
These same companies are also currently testing these disease modifying medications on individuals who currently have Alzheimer’s Type Dementia with hopes of halting the progress of the disease. For any questions regarding these advancements or to see if you would qualify for possible participation in one of these ground breaking trials please call our office and schedule a free screening, (561) 209-2400.

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