Alzheimer’s Disease: Reasons to Hope
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. The word “dementia” is a broad term referring to a loss of cognitive function that interferes with an individual’s daily life. Remembering, thinking, and reasoning are all examples of cognitive function. Alzheimer’s disease is also exceedingly common; according to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Despite these shocking figures, there are reasons to hope. Here are a few:
- Exciting Drug Therapy Pipeline. According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation 2021 Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Report, 118 potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are in clinical development. Some of these therapies address Alzheimer’s underlying causes, while others focus on treating Alzheimer’s symptoms. You can access the report to know more.
- Increased Funding. In December 2020, a $300 million increase for Alzheimer’s research funding at the National Institute of Health (NIH) was signed into law. Today, funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the NIH is approximately $3.2 billion.
- The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. The Act was signed into law with bi-partisan support in 2020 and gives clinicians the knowledge and tools to better help people living with dementia and their families. This is important because care planning improves quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s, because it allows people to learn about clinical trials, support services and medical and non-medical treatments.
You can help. You can help join the fight against Alzheimer’s by volunteering, participating in an Alzheimer’s fundraiser, such as The Longest Day on June 21st, advocating to make Alzheimer’s a national priority, donating to the Alzheimer’s Association, or joining a research trial. For more information: Get Involved | Alzheimer’s Association. To locate a clinical trial: TrialMatch – Free Clinical Trial Matching Service | alz.org. There are all types of trials with various levels of commitment. For example, The ATP Webstudy requires only about 20 minutes of computer time every 3 months. For more information: About The Webstudy | APT Webstudy. The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement has made it easy for you to urge Congress to increase Alzheimer’s funding with 1 simple click. Urge Congress to Increase Alzheimer’s Research Funding (p2a.co).
After her family’s journey through Alzheimer’s, author Mary Moreland was determined to help fellow caregivers by sharing her experience in The Gap Between Loving and Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s (Brown Books Publishing Group). Alongside her own story of loss, the author delivers insights on protecting and grieving for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s and provides practical advice on navigating critical matters including legal documentation, diagnostic and educational resources, preparation for and accepting deterioration, and the end-of-life experience.