Researchers continue to study drugs and other substances as possible treatments for Alzheimer's disease. Well-designed, thorough studies are necessary to give a clear picture of safety and effectiveness before making drugs available to the public.
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.
Diagnosis by a professional is particularly important, because a number of other ailments -- many of which are treatable -- share symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease. These include infections, inadequate nutrition, vitamin B-12 deficiency, anemia, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), depression, and cerebral vascular insufficiency (decreased blood flow to the brain due to constricted or obstructed arteries).
Also, an adverse reaction to prescribed medication or a harmful combination...
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.
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.