Alzheimer's disease research is currently being tackled from many sides. Drug companies, the U.S. government, and the Alzheimer's Association are funding research to learn more about the disease and to find treatments that will reduce symptoms and prevent or cure the disease.
One of the most exciting areas of research involves looking at factors, including aging, family history and genetic causes, past severe head injury, and low education, that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. These factors can lead to theories about how they produce the abnormalities seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.
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When Sue Dietz noticed her mother's dementia worsening, she began spending every day at her parents' house near Pittsburgh — making sure her mom was eating properly and taking medications. But the schedule became too much when Dietz's daughter in North Carolina had a baby. "It wasn't fair to my daughter that I couldn't be with her when she needed me, too," says Dietz, 56. Although...
Similarly, looking at factors that reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, like the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), other genetic factors, antioxidant therapies, and high education or occupational demand, could aid our understanding of the disease.