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.
There are about 10 million people in the U.S. -- mostly women – who have chosen to take care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a grueling job in itself, but many aren’t only caregiving. They’re also raising kids of their own -- and maybe working – at the same time.
“You’re already a parent to your children, and then suddenly you have to become a caregiver to your parent,” says Donna Schempp, LCSW, program director at the Family Caregiver Alliance in San Francisco. “It’s very hard to...
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.