Why Is It Difficult to Treat Dementia?

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Why Treating Dementia Is a Challenging Task in Addison, TX

Creating effective treatments for dementia and other disease processes that affect neurons has proven challenging. The underlying cause of cognitive impairment is commonly difficult to diagnose. The blood-brain barrier also makes it challenging to ensure medications travel to the brain to alleviate dementia symptoms, and many pharmaceutical companies stopped researching possible treatments after numerous attempts at creating effective dementia medications failed.  Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Arlington families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Dementia Obstacles 

Dementia is a complex health issue that can have more than 50 different causes. There are nearly 47 million adults around the world living with some form of dementia, and there’s no sign of a cure. In 2003, the FDA approved memantine, which provides some degree of symptomatic relief. However, the medication doesn’t reverse the disease process. Many drugs in the process of development are geared toward addressing the factors leading to Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for up to 70 percent of dementia cases. One of the issues with finding an effective dementia treatment involves a lack of sufficient biological information related to the disease process. While researchers understand beta-amyloid and tau proteins cause the plaques and tangles that lead to neuron destruction, they don’t yet know what factors cause the protein accumulations. Scientists also haven’t been able to differentiate which proteins are more toxic or the factors behind the varied rates of progression in different adults. Another challenge is the fact that symptoms emerge gradually and slowly after years of degenerative processes. It’s also possible for seniors to develop Alzheimer’s disease along with other forms of dementia, and treating Alzheimer’s disease may not reverse the symptoms caused by the other disorders. The blood-brain barrier presents a major hurdle. The barrier is a natural defense mechanism that protects the brain from invading organisms and toxins. However, the barricade also makes it difficult to design a medication that might successfully penetrate the barrier and target the desired areas of the brain. Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Recent Developments 

Current developments include a classification of medications known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which interfere with the enzymes responsible for destroying the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This chemical messenger plays a vital role in retaining memory. A promising immunological approach entails the creation of antibodies that attach to abnormal proteins and mark them for elimination by the immune system. The medications specifically go after beta-amyloid and tau proteins. However, only 0.1 percent of antibodies are able to bypass the blood-brain barrier.  An innovative approach some researchers have used involves using ultrasound to temporarily open the barricade to increase the number of antibodies entering the brain. Ultrasound has been shown to remove tau protein accumulations in laboratory animals. The hope is that by combining therapies, the treatment will be more effective than either therapy alone.  One medication, aducanumab, received accelerated FDA approval as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s the first FDA-approved therapy that addresses the biological component of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s the first therapy to show that removing beta-amyloid from the brain is likely to reduce cognitive and functional decline in people who are living with early Alzheimer’s.  Dementia is a serious health concern that impacts a senior’s overall quality of life. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Arlington in-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (817) 591-1580 today.


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