There are over 5.5 million people with dementia or Alzheimer’s and another 7 to 10 million living with Parkinson’s in the United States.  Fortunately, there have been new discoveries in understanding how these diseases work. Paving the way for new therapies, medications, and possibly even a cure.  Some of them have gone largely unnoticed. [1][2] 

     In December of 2017 researches at University College London have developed a new drug that targets toxic proteins and helps to reduce the levels.  “The drug is injected into patients’ spinal fluid and “silences” the faulty “huntingtin” protein that causes Huntington’s disease.” [3] The hope is that using these techniques, they can develop drugs that target the harmful toxic proteins found in those with dementia and Parkinson’s.   

     An article published last month by express.co.uk covered a study recently done where surgeons performed a first in the US and implanted an electrode on the brains of three study participants. “The implants were placed in the part of the brain responsible for executive and cognitive functions such as planning, problem solving and judgement. A battery pack in the chest sends electrical currents through the wires in a process called deep brain stimulation.”  This discovery is allowing patients to do tasks they previously were unable to complete.   

     These new therapies will help bring quality of life back to millions of people suffering from these diseases globally.  With each breakthrough we become one step closer to finding the cure. 

By: Jonathan Shaw
      Your Care Agency

Links:

https://www.alz.org/facts/ [1]

http://www.parkinsonassociation.org/facts-about-parkinsons-disease/ [2]

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/891082/dementia-Huntington-s-disease-cure-biggest-breakthrough-50-years-new-drug [3]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/01/30/brain-pacemaker-alzheimers-helps-gives-life-back-patients/ [4]

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