METRO — Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, and its progression cannot be radically slowed. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s, and around 5 million people in the country currently have the disease.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, researchers are continuing to work on both drug and nondrug treatments to combat both cognitive and behavioral symptoms.
According to information from the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, there is reason for optimism regarding Alzheimer’s treatments. Researchers now have a better understanding of how the brain changes with Alzheimer’s and can fine tune medications to react with certain areas of the brain responsible for certain symptoms.
For example, drug companies Eli Lilly and Biogen have been testing drugs that block beta amyloid, a protein that can cause toxic brain plaques in people, which are often associated with progressive brain disease. Another abnormality associated with Alzheimer’s is caused when a protein called tau twists into microscopic tangles, says the Mayo Clinic.
Tangles collapse vital brain cell transport systems. Researchers are looking into medicines that may prevent tau from forming tangles. In addition, researchers continue to look at anti-inflammatory drugs to help delay the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as how other conditions and diseases, including high blood pressure or diabetes, may impact the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.