A New Drug for Dementia

Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic conditions that are difficult to understand but relatively quite common spur researchers and doctors into searching tirelessly for new treatment strategies that can help manage or even reverse the effects of cognitive degradation. While studies into potential remedies for dementia have been non-stop and continuous, only a few drugs to treat the symptoms have been approved by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

Explaining How Various Treatments Work

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, current cognitive impairment and dementia treatments are designed to address many aspects of dementia. Medications are usually prescribed to halt or at least slow the progressive worsening of cognitive symptoms. Therapy is often recommended along with the medications to help both family members and seniors living with the disease to cope with the lifestyle and behavioral changes. These medical interventions are more often than not beneficial for individuals who struggle to deal with the impact of dementia on typical patterns of behavior. Knowing the situations that may set off episodes of frustration or irritability, and subsequently being able to circumvent or avoid such instances, is an essential part of the care of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

While therapy is unable to actually stop the progression of the disease, the above mentioned aspects of care are crucial to managing the symptoms. Learning and following coping techniques is vital, but do people have any resort that can help lessen the pace of the quick development of the disease? Researchers have been trying to answer this question for years. Some have met with varying degrees of success. The Mayo Clinic states there currently are a few drug treatments that have been approved by the FDA. These drugs assist in the relief of cognitive impairment symptoms by enhancing chemical activity in the cells in the brain linked to higher-level functions such as memory. Unfortunately, all these drugs are powerless to defeat the underlying source of dementia or even reverse its effects.

New Research May Lead to a Promising Treatment for Dementia

Current studies have been spent on searching for potential alternative uses of existing drugs and not on developing entirely new medications altogether. One study however, conducted in the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center had hopes that the new drug it tested may help ameliorate typical cognitive symptoms of dementia. The researchers used a type of insulin conveyed through a nasal spray. A total of 60 adults diagnosed with conditions ranging from mild cognitive dysfunction to moderate to extreme forms of Alzheimer’s were treated with insulin detemir for three weeks. Detemir is a chemical that’s commonly used in treating diabetes and is lab-manufactured.

Scientists discovered at the end of the trial period that when compared to those who only received a placebo, the subjects sprayed with detemir exhibited a much higher level of thought organization and working memory. Also promising was the fact that the insulin treatment yielded benefits that didn’t seem to lead to any negative effects over and above mild harmful reactions.

Important Information For Families by Dementia and Alzheimer’s

For seniors and their families, Alzheimer’s continues to be a major health risk. Major studies have been performed to test different new medications to complement existing behavioral therapies, and while no cure has yet been found some promising strides have nevertheless been made.

Presently, the most reliable form of Alzheimer’s care remains early detection and treatment. Some types of cognitive erosion may be a natural part of the aging process; however, you could be witnessing an early sign of dementia if you start noticing your loved one exhibiting increased symptoms of severe loss of memory to the point where daily functioning is being adversely affected.  It’s important to consult with a physician about exploring other screening procedures before the symptoms aggravate further.