Alzheimer’s disease has affected the lives of many, whether it be experienced firsthand or something we watch a loved one endure; its impacts are significant. Thankfully in today’s era, bright minds and eager hearts are pushing back with intense Alzheimer’s disease research. They are fighting the good fight, and in the future not so distant from now, we hope to see this disease done away with entirely.
Oaks Senior Living would like to provide a few recent, Alzheimer’s disease research studies that are giving us hope for a better tomorrow!
SPRINT MIND: New Treatment Methods
One of the most recent breakthroughs was announced in 2018 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Researchers announced that the results of the SPRINT MIND study showed that the treatment of high blood pressure decreased the number of new cases of mild cognitive impairment.
This result was promising enough for the Alzheimer’s Association to invest an additional $800,000 to bring about SPRINT MIND 2.0 to follow up with original trial participants. The aim of SPRINT MIND 2.0 is to expand the assessments to include the effectiveness of these high blood pressure treatments, and how it pertains to preventing forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Early Detection: Diagnosis and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease
While studies are ongoing, what remains unanimously agreed upon at the moment is that early detection is crucial for the management and treatment of Alzheimer’s, as well as essential for ongoing Alzheimer’s disease research. With advancements in medical technology being a constant evolution, one of the most effective methods is neuroimaging technologies.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - In addition to its usage, MRI’s are used to observe for shrinkage in specific regions of the brain for signs that may correlate to early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Functional MRI - A functional MRI goes a step further than the traditional MRI, where 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.
- Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) - A molecular imaging via nuclear medicine technique. SPECT has the capability of noting changes in the pathophysiologic makeup of the brain well before structural changes are readily apparent. In addition to early diagnosis, SPECT allows for accurate monitoring of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, making it a crucial aspect of research into the disease.
What Can You Watch For or Do?
While researchers are hard at work, there are steps you can take in your day to day life to watch for early signs of Alzheimer’s, or other forms of dementia. With careful observance, you can watch for these symptoms, and if you notice them, you should consult with your doctor.
In addition to the readily available list of the early signs of Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a free online course that’s a great source of knowledge for families and those concerned they may be in the early stages of the disease to help address these early signs.
Between an observant eye, a helpful network of resources, and frequent advancements in the field going towards understanding, treating, and eventually beating Alzheimer’s disease, the outlook on the future is a bright one for all. Tomorrow is a new day, and yesterday always lays the framework for the present.
If you have a loved one who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to know your options. While there is currently no cure or way to reverse the disease, memory care services are designed specifically for those diagnosed. At Oaks Senior Living our specialized memory care neighborhood called Horizons provides a loving, supportive, compassionate experience in a safe and vibrant environment. If you are interested in learning more about Oaks Senior Living, we invite you to schedule a tour at one of our communities throughout Georgia and experience it for yourself!