Alzheimer’s: An Illness Felt by All
We all know how heartbreaking Alzheimer’s Disease is. The stories grip our souls, and leave us wishing for a day where this disease no longer existed.
According to Alzheimers.org:
It kills more Americans than breast and prostate cancer combined.
Every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease.
By 2050, over 16 million Americans could be living with Alzheimer’s.
While this disease seems to only be gaining a full head of steam in the U.S., its path of destruction is nondiscriminatory. Countries from Uruguay to Scotland are also experiencing this explosion of loss.
More than one in every 10 deaths in Scotland is now a result of Alzheimer’s. This is double the rate from a decade ago.
To better paint the picture of how this disease has stumped some of the greatest minds in medicine, currently, only FIVE drugs have been approved by the FDA for treatment. None of which are a cure.
Most trials conducted in Alzheimer’s research are a dead end. Compare this to cancer trials, nearly half of new study drugs result in some positive effects.
But why should the answer to a disease like Alzheimer’s be simple? We are trying to understand the most complex part of our being.
The brain is what makes the human race the most sophisticated, evolved species.
The brain is responsible for making 7.6 billion people all unique.
So how could the brain not be an enigma?
But just because something is complicated doesn’t allow excuses to be made. Or complacency to be accepted.
Strong Hope for the Future
We dream of a day when a wife doesn’t forget her husband.
A day when a son doesn’t have to decide if a nursing home is the best option for his father.
A day when this disease stops ending memories, but instead becomes a memory.
While these statistics mentioned above are disheartening, hope is still on the horizon thanks to research. A recent preclinical study published in February showed overwhelming positive signs to stopping and eliminating a type of plaque that accumulates in the brain, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.
These promising preclinical trials are the first steps to entering “phase 1” trials in humans. This is where a real world impact towards ending this disease begins.
The only way to wake up one day, where our dreams have become reality, is through continued clinical trials.
Anything that can help provide families with extra time with their loved ones is a blessing. However, prolongment isn’t our end goal as a world community. We want a cure.
Failures will continue to pile up, but so with it one failure closer to an answer. So now, more than ever, let’s keep failing.