Colorado doctors are focusing on healthy brains, unlocking the secrets of Alzheimer’s, and we couldn’t be more excited! A team of researchers from the CU Anschutz Medical Center recently announced surprisingly positive results in their tests of a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s. The drug “Leukine” is said to improve cognition in those affected with the disease. If research continues to go well, this could be a life-changing discovery for many people.
Unlocking Alzheimer’s Reality
You’ve heard about Alzheimer’s, but are you aware of all the facts and figures? It turns out, the more you know, the scarier the reality.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association:
• Half of all adults aged 85 and older have Alzheimer’s
• More than half of those affected may not know that they have it
• Nearly two-thirds of people with the disease are women
• Symptoms can develop as young as 30 years old
• A new case of Alzheimer’s is diagnosed every 65 seconds
• Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
• There are over 16 million Americans caring for someone with the disease
The Cost of Living With Alzheimer’s
Living with Alzheimer’s can be emotionally and financially debilitating, for both those afflicted and their caregivers. While it is still possible to enjoy life and take part in pleasurable activities, they often have to be appreciated in new and different ways.
The truth is, having Alzheimer’s means living a whole new lifestyle. Coping with the disease comes with safety concerns, relationship challenges, and quality-of-life issues. The disease is known for its progressive nature, developing slowly, and gradually worsening. That’s why it is crucial to unlocking Alzheimer’s secrets.
By mid-stage (which may take years to reach), patients typically need help with activities of daily living and may forget the names of family members and loved ones.
Alzheimer’s is complicated, and it’s unlikely that any one drug or treatment will offer much relief. Current options focus on helping people manage behavioral symptoms, maintain mental function, and slow down the progress of the disease. We can assist you with many challenges in caring for a patient, we are only a phone call away.
Most of the options available work best in the early to middle stages of the disease and can provide people with comfort, independence, and dignity for an extended period of time. It is important to note, however, that these drugs merely treat the symptoms and do not actually cure the disease.
Dr. Huntington Potter, head of the research team at Anschutz, says he is “cautiously very positive” about the Leukine trial results. During the study, participants who took the drug showed marked improvement not only in cognition, but in activities of daily living, some of which they hadn’t been able to perform for years.
The quality of life implications alone are immense. To take a person that has been dependent on others for so long and make it so they can finally bathe themselves again, or even get their own cereal in the morning, would be simply life-changing.
While further research is needed, both for effectiveness and for safety, Leukine may be the light at the end of the tunnel that Alzheimer’s patients and their families have been waiting for.
*Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash