2016 Roundup: Latest Research On Dementia

caregiver with hands on shoulders of senior woman, who is 89 years old 12/15/2016

2016 Roundup: Latest Research On Dementia

Memory loss in the elderly can take many forms. It might be vascular dementia caused by a stroke. Or it could be the result of Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 70 to 80 percent of dementias. What most types of dementia have in common is that there are very few forms of treatment.

It’s why families who have a loved one living with some form of dementia are always interested in newer research that may provide them with hope. This includes clinical trials that may be searching for participants.

Latest Research on Dementia

Here are some of the latest findings on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: Researchers from the University of Manchester in the U.K. are feeling hopeful about a project they are engaged in. They were successful in using non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) to reverse memory loss and brain inflammation in mice. Their next step is to try this in human trials.
  • Eye Test for Early Diagnosis: Another interesting study at the University of Minnesota shows promise for identifying the presence of Alzheimer’s disease early. And it is just an inexpensive, non-invasive eye test. Scientists hope that early identification will lead to learning how to prevent and treat the disease.
  • Cancer Treatment for Alzheimer’s: Georgetown University Medical Center was just awarded a grant to explore the idea of using cancer drugs to treat Alzheimer’s. Nilotinib is a drug approved by the FDA to treat adults with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and is one drug being considered.
  • Elevate Brain Protein: Salk Institute researchers are currently testing a drug they hope will boost levels of critical protective protein in the brain. By elevating this brain protein, their research with mice shows they can alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and improve memory.
  • New Theory on Cause: Harvard University scientists have a new theory on the cause of Alzheimer’s. If their research proves to be true, it will topple what many believe about the disease. Their study explores the role amyloid plaques play. These plaques are currently considered to be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s. But Harvard researchers now think this may not be the case and that’s what they are digging in to.

Clinical Trials and Dementia Research

Many families who have received the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s for a loved one wonder if they can participate in a clinical trial that might give them access to the latest forms of treatment. For years there has been a persistent myth that the trials are full. In actuality, many trials across the country are actively seeking participants.

Here are a few resources to help you explore Alzheimer’s and dementia research trials near you:

  • Trial Match: This is a matching service hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association. The project helps to connect people with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, healthy volunteers and physicians with current, on-going clinical trials. There are over 250 clinical studies in progress at over 700 trials sites across the country.
  • National Institute on Aging: Another avenue to explore is the clinical trials page sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. You can search by zip code to find a trial near you.

Elmcroft Senior Living is one of the country’s leading providers of memory care services. If you are looking for a partner in care who can help provide your loved one with the best quality of life, call the community nearest you to arrange for a private tour.