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Alzheimer's Research

There have been only 2 classes of FDA approved medications developed to treat the symptoms of AD since 1906.

Alzheimer’s Research - What’s on the Horizon?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for about 65% of cases. Although deaths from other major diseases have decreased or remained the same, Alzheimer’s deaths have increased substantially. In the US alone, AD afflicts approximately 7 million older people, thus impacting the caregivers as well.

Since the hallmarks of the disease - plaques and tangles - were discovered by Dr. Alzheimer in 1906, there have been only 2 classes of FDA approved medications developed to treat the symptoms of AD and some other related dementias. With increasing understanding of evidence from biomarkers in past trials, scientists are now developing new tools to help accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. Through this past research, scientists have learned that the Amyloid (plaques) and Tau (tangles) proteins begin to develop in the brain of Alzheimer’s individuals 15- 20 years prior to the presentation of cognitive symptoms. As a result, scientists are better understanding the course of Alzheimer’s, which progresses from the prodromal (pre-clinical) stage to mild cognitive impairment and then to dementia. This has led researchers to investigate treatments and attempt to disrupt the AD process even earlier, before the plaques form and begin to disrupt memory.

Alongside research into new drug treatments, studies into lifestyle interventions are also being carried out. Scientists are getting even closer to developing new AD treatments due to the volunteers who participate in research. There continues to be a need for thousands more volunteers whose participation may contribute to future medical advances to help all those affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias.


Want to learn more?
Melanie Chadwick was our guest speaker for our March 10th class, "The Dementias: What's on the Treatment Horizon". View the recording.

You can also visit the National Institute of Health at:


Melanie Chadwick, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and certified dementia care specialist with the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University.





"I like that IMCC focuses on dementia-related problems and provides a focal point for families to network and socially interact in coping with dementia. It provides a community that helps us in our struggle."