At A4M, our mission is to spread awareness regarding the need for research, funding, and further education in order to prevent age-related diseases. This will not be the last you hear from us concerning Alzheimer’s, as it is a topic that both deserves and requires a significant amount of attention.
Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more than five million Americans, a number that could potentially skyrocket to 16 million in the next three decades. Not only is Alzheimer’s the sixth-leading cause of death in the country, but it also leads to tremendous financial and emotional instabilities, in addition to extensive family strain and stress.
The cognitive losses that accompany Alzheimer’s disease are, at first blush, signs of normal aging: forgetfulness, disorientation, and impairments in functioning that lead to one’s inability to perform basic, rudimentary tasks. Yet these symptoms are merely the tip of the iceberg: depression, anxiety, aggression, and a detachment from reality are some of the emotional and behavioral problems that stem from Alzheimer’s.
Within the past week, the first drug designed to acutely treat Alzheimer’s failed to show significant benefit for those with mild forms of the disease. The drug, Solanezumab, is among the first of a new array of treatments designed to address and diagnose the disorder at its root cause, rather than merely alleviating symptoms. Had the pharmaceutical been successful, it would have been the first form of therapy that slowed the disease’s progression.
While the past two decades have incontrovertibly seen significant advances in our understanding of the disease, there is still no cure. Continued and increased funding in research is critically necessary, as most scientists and doctors believe that early detection is the primary way in which to stop the disease’s progression—or even ultimately cure it.
To become further involved with research, funding, or learn more about ways to prevent aging-related diseases, take a look at what being an A4M member means. Enhancing health is always our top priority, and we believe if you are reading this, it is also yours.