Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of all cases. The medications currently available help slow down the disease, but they can’t treat the cause or stop its progression. The team at New Hope Clinical Research in Charlotte, North Carolina, are dedicated to finding treatments that will prevent and cure Alzheimer’s. By conducting clinical trials of new drugs, they offer hope to those with Alzheimer’s. To learn more about current and future clinical trials, call the clinic or book an appointment online.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that progressively worsens, starting with cellular changes that begin long before symptoms develop and continuing through years of memory loss and declining mental function.
Two known physical changes that occur in the brain and contribute to Alzheimer’s are:
These are twisted pieces of abnormal tau protein found inside nerve cells.
Plaques contain pieces of beta-amyloid, proteins that should have been eliminated as waste but have lingered. The protein mixes with byproducts of dying nerve cells, forming clusters of a plaque outside nerve cells.
Plaques and tangles first form in areas of the brain responsible for memory, then spread to other regions.
On average, patients with Alzheimer’s live four to eight years after they’re diagnosed, but some live up to 20 years.
These are a few examples of what to expect through each of the three stages.
Forgetfulness is the primary problem at this stage. Patients develop problems such as difficulty remembering the name of familiar people and losing objects. They may also find it hard to organize things and could lose interest in their favorite activities.
This stage usually lasts the longest. As the disease progresses, patients have a hard time doing normal daily tasks. They struggle to express their thoughts, their sleep habits may change, and they forget important information like their own address. They may start to develop delusions or repetitive behaviors.
At this final stage, patients aren’t aware of their surroundings, can’t have a conversation, and their personality changes. For example, they may suddenly become aggressive. They lose the ability to walk, sit, or swallow, so they need constant care.
Clinical trials are the only path to better treatment and ultimately, finding a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s. Before a new medication is put on the market, it must go through a rigorous clinical trial to be sure it’s safe and effective and to determine the optimal dose.
The team at New Hope Clinical Research have successfully completed earlier Alzheimer’s studies and they continue to participate in clinical trials.
For example, they’re conducting clinical trials for a new drug that affects genes regulating brain functions associated with Alzheimer’s. Lab studies show this drug may stop the production of tangles and plaques, improve memory and motor function, and reduce inflammation in the brain.
If you have Alzheimer’s and join a clinical trial, you’ll benefit from testing to evaluate your disease and you may receive experimental treatments that improve or slow down your symptoms.
One thing is certain: participating in a clinical trial will improve the outlook for Alzheimer’s patients in the future.
To learn more about current clinical trials, compensation for your travel expenses, and other potential reimbursements, call New Hope Clinical Research, or book an appointment online.