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.
Unfortunately, getting an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis is not simple. Your doctor can’t check for the disease by doing a quick blood test. That’s because signs of Alzheimer’s disease don't appear in your blood. Instead, Alzheimer’s disease is the result of a problem inside your brain.
The only way to be 100% certain a person suffers from Alzheimer’s disease is to examine samples of brain tissue. This can only be done during an autopsy, after a person has died.
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.