As of 2019, 5.8 million people in the United States alone live with Alzheimer’s disease; most of those are over the age of 65. That may be a shocking statistic, but one that arrives amidst crucial developments regarding Alzheimer’s disease research.
Brickmont Assisted Living in Atlanta, Georgia would like to share a few of the Alzheimer's research breakthroughs that have occurred in recent years. As well as share our hope for a future without Alzheimer's disease!
Early Detection: A Key Component to Defeating the Disease
While there are many studies ongoing around the globe, it’s unanimously agreed upon among medical researchers that early detection is a priority. Early detection not only opens the door for more treatment options but can help prolong the progression of the condition. A majority of Alzheimer’s disease research in the past decade has relied heavily on these detection methods.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - In addition to identifying other problems with the brain, MRI scans can observe shrinkage in specific areas of the brain that can often point to early signs of Alzheimer's disease.
- Functional MRI - A functional MRI scam goes a step further than the traditional MRI. Instead of observing the size and structure of the brain, it specifically monitors activity in the brain. A reduction in brain cell activity can be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Spotting this reduction in brain activity earlier gives the patient a much more promising outlook. Newer treatments are able to prolong the later stages from impacting as quickly as they used to. Functional MRI scans are a major Alzheimer’s disease breakthrough in the world of neurology.
- Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) - SPECT has the capability of marking changes in the pathophysiologic makeup of the brain well before structural changes are notable. In addition to early diagnosis, SPECT allows for accurate monitoring of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The accuracy and speed of this device make it essential to Alzheimer's disease research.
In addition to these methods are a variety of ongoing studies investigating new methods of early detection. One incredibly promising research study completed just this year is the iDEAS Study.
iDEAS: How A Three Year Study Opens New Doors
February 2, 2016, marked the beginning of the iDEAS Study. iDEAS, or Imaging Dementia-Evidence for Amyloid Scanning, was a study that was conducted over the course of three years. The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on April 2, 2019.
By using Positron Emission Tomography, this study of 11,000 Medicare recipients discovered that amyloid plaques in the brain, in differing regions, had vastly different effects on the cognitive function. The results showed that the scans were effective in more than two-thirds of the study participants. These results open the door for doctors to pursue more effective treatment options, which sets the stage for more research going forward!
A Winning Effort
In the battle against Alzheimer’s disease, research across the globe is going at an exponential rate. With an international goal of making life-changing treatments by the year 2025, we may be on the way to a future without Alzheimer’s. With every Alzheimer’s disease breakthrough, we come one step closer to a better tomorrow.
If your parent or loved one is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, consider Brickmont’s Silver Linings Memory Care services. Our professionally-trained team create a warm and caring environment, provide expert care, and all the necessities for a happy, healthy life. If you’re interested in learning more about any of Brickmont Assisted Living’s services, feel free to contact one of our experts!