Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Results of Alzheimer's Studies May Change How Disease is Treated
The number of Alzheimer's patients in the U.S. is expected to go from the current 5.4 million to 16 million by 2050. Costs for care, mostly assumed by taxpayers, could rise from $200 billion this year to $1.1 trillion in 2050. The few treatments that are currently available only ease symptoms temporarily.
Patients and families are anxious for a drug that slows or stops Alzheimer's. For those afflicted with the disease and their families, there's hope from new studies starting up and insights from recent ones that didn't quite pan out.
Drug maker Merck announced it's just begun the first combined mid- and late-stage study of a BACE inhibitor. BACE inhibitors are designed to slow mental and functional decline by limiting production of the protein that's the main ingredient in brain-damaging plaques considered the most likely cause of Alzheimer's. So far, the key findings indicate that patients must be treated early on, before Alzheimer's has destroyed much of their brains.
After years of stumbles and many promising experimental drugs failing, scientists think they're now on the right track. If the new studies succeed, a medicine that slows or even stops progression of the brain-destroying disease might be ready in three to five years. Read the article.
Evan H. Farr is a Certified Elder Law Attorney with a focus on the financial and legal issues surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. At the Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, our Alzheimer’s Planning Team provides life-long guidance, management, and oversight on vital issues such as medical and nursing care, housing options, financial management, estate planning, asset protection, Medicaid eligibility, and more. Call us at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation.
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