Dr. Guy Eakin: Hi! I am Dr. Guy Eakin. I am going to tell you about the latest research advancements and the important pursuit of a cure for Alzheimer's, the leading cause of irreversible dementia in the United States.
Currently, there is no cure. Over the last decades, scientists have made substantial progress in understanding environmental genetic and other risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, but continued research is the only way new treatments will be discovered.
Two major areas of research are early detection of Alzheimer's disease and discovery of new therapies and early detection and most efforts focus on sophisticated imaging techniques to examine the structure of the brain through CT, MRI and PET scanning. Recent advances in the examination of spinal fluid and blood are beginning to point researchers towards methods of diagnosing Alzheimer's at its early stages when it's believed to be most treatable.
In the drug discovery field, there is a vast amount of research on new interventions that might help prevent or slow progression of Alzheimer's. Some drug research efforts are aimed at combining two or three drugs into one with a known safety profile. The goal is to increase the probability that new products will someday be available to the people who need them.