Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Search for an Alzheimer’s Cure

Kiran Sreenivas, MS, CPHQ

A recent article from Quartz explains why there has not been a new treatment for Alzheimer’s in over a decade despite the total cost of caring for all people with the disease expected to reach its highest point of $1 trillion.

There are three main reasons for the lack of progress. The first is neurological symptoms only appear when the disease has progressed to a point that it’s almost impossible to treat. The second is there are no good methods for early detection, even if one is asymptomatic. Third, it’s very difficult to find appropriate candidates for clinical trials given the other reasons mentioned.

These challenges have recently led to several drugs failing in latter phases of FDA clinical trials. In fact, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced in January 2018 it will drop out of the Alzheimer’s drug sector entirely.

With no pharmaceutical advances in sight for Alzheimer’s or dementia, nursing centers and assisted living communities will need to continue to provide the best care possible for this vulnerable population. To stay up to date with the latest and most effective care practices, check out the Alzheimer’s Association 2018 Dementia Care Practice Recommendations and the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. And be sure to access free member resources on ahcancalED!

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