The Two Obstacles That Are Holding Back Alzheimer’s Research

The Two Obstacles That Are Holding Back Alzheimer’s Research

Despite decades of research, understanding Alzheimer’s disease enough to be able to meaningfully cure it, or blunt the symptoms, remains out of reach for medicine. Neuroscientists have learned to manage their expectations as they tackle Alzheimer’s because progress has been elusive. Therapy after therapy has been tried and discarded, despite initial optimism, when the results did not measure up to real help.

Governments around the world that are in a position to contribute research funding to the fight against Alzheimer’s are not contributing enough funds and resources. It has gone on long enough that the deficiency is starting to gather wider notice. Wealthy individuals are beginning to make donations of their own, and some national institutions are moving toward more substantial investments in exploring Alzheimer’s.

Part of the reason includes longer lifespans. As individuals live longer lives, diseases that occur or worsen with age become more relevant to more people. Alzheimer’s is one of these. Advocacy groups are responding to the greater need, and helping to try and persuade governments and other sources into making increased efforts to deal with Alzheimer’s.

Current research is mostly focusing on prevention, rather than curing. New discoveries are pointing towards protein deposits as being key, and something that appears years before the actual onset of symptoms.

Key Points:

  • 1Longer life spans is going to increase our need for finding a treatement and hopefully a cure.
  • 2Like the war on cancer, the war on Alzheimer’s disease is not going to be won in a single glorious “battle.”
  • 3Just within the U.S., National Institute of Health funding has increased in the past five years from $503 million per year to $1.391 billion per year.

Only by recognizing and confronting all of the obstacles impeding development of Alzheimer’s therapies can we be confident that our battle will be successful.

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