Treating it Before it Starts: New Study Aims to find preventive medication for Alzheimer’s

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May 8, 2014

To this day, Alzheimer’s disease remains one of the most difficult diseases to treat. Although there are a few effective treatments available for mid-level or late-stage patients, there is still no proven drug to halt the disease’s progression during advanced stages.

Alzheimer’s Disease, as stated by the Alzheimer’s Association, “is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.” Accounting for 60 – 80% of its cases, it is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for cognitive decline that interferes with daily life.

These cases have pushed researchers to increasingly look for preventive measures and, eventually, combat the said brain disease.

This year, the Generation Program was launched to “to find out whether experimental medications can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms.” Funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, National Institute on Aging, Foundations, and drug makers, the study consists of two clinical trials that will each last five to eight years. The first intervention aims to prevent the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain which is a known symptom of Alzheimer’s.

Approximately 200,000 participants are being scanned to identify the actual 3,400 pool. These people—both men and women between the ages 60 to 75—should be found to carry a gene called APOE4, a biomaker for increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. According to Healthline, 10 – 15% of people posses the gene and that multiple copies heighten the risk.

While the program is still on-going, the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation suggests “the four pillars of Alzheimer’s prevention” to reduce the risk of disease. These pillars are:

  • Mediterranean diets and supplements
  • Physical and mental exercise
  • Yoga and meditation
  • A maintained psychological well-being

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