Alzheimer’s is a disease that currently impacts roughly five million Americans. Although there is no cure yet, with every week that passes research and studies further medical experts’ understanding of the disease. With each of these studies, individuals who are impacted by the disease directly or indirectly are given hope that a method for prevention and a cure may soon be discovered.
Is There a Connection Between Sleep and Alzheimer’s?
In October of 2013, the results of a study by Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist formerly with the University of Rochester Medical Center, were published. In the study, Nedergaard and her co-authors found getting more sleep could help the human brain flush away damaged molecules, which are a hallmark for the development of this condition.
However, Cincinnati home care professionals note that there have also been studies conducted that suggest Alzheimer’s causes a person to develop sleep difficulties, leaving medical experts wondering if Alzheimer’s comes first or trouble sleeping.
A New Drug Could Slow the Decline of the Disease
More recently, findings on a drug called solanezumab were released during the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. The findings suggested that this drug was able to keep brain cells alive and slow cognitive decline by as much as 34 percent. Although research is still ongoing, the drug’s manufacturer Eli Lilly hopes to be the first to receive FDA approval and market a meaningful Alzheimer’s drug.
What Does the Future Hold for Alzheimer’s Patients?
Medical experts are always going to want more research and more clinical trials conducted before they are comfortable agreeing that getting more sleep or taking a drug such as solanezumab could delay the progression of AD. However, studies and findings such as these give everyone impacted by this condition hope for the future. As neuroscientists and medical experts develop a more thorough understanding of the disease, including what causes it and how it develops, we get closer and closer to establishing preventative measures and ultimately finding a cure.
Has a loved one recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Although the future may seem uncertain, you don’t have to face it alone. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of dementia and Alzheimer’s care for seniors in Cincinnati and can provide you and your loved one with the help and support you both need and deserve. Call us today at 513.891.2273 and request a complimentary in-home consultation with a dedicated Care Manager.