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Alzheimer's research needs more attention

The disease Alzheimer's is on the rise. According to reports today, men have a 1 in 11 chance of getting the disease, whereas women age 60 or older have a 1 in 6 chance to develop the disease, and "approximately 500,000 people dye each year," according to the Alzheimer's Association.

Alzheimer's disease
Mark Richards Getty Images

The disease is of the top 10 killers, and reports indicate, "by 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease may nearly triple from 5 million to as many as 16 million," according to the 2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report.

So far there are no treatments available to help slow the disease, or prevent it, and new drug developments will take years before knowing if they are effective. Other researchers believe it is "diabetes of the brain."

A Neuropathologist, Dr. Suzanne DeLaMonte, who also teaches pathology at The Alpert Medical School of Brown University published her findings in a 2005 article in the Journal of Alzheimer's disease, which examines the disease as diabetes of the brain.

Dr. DeLaMonte was a guest in 2011 on the Dr. Oz show. During this show she revealed her findings, which happened by accident. Apparently, she was investigating diabetes when the compounds were introduced to the brain cells she noticed an immediate reaction that replicated the dying effects as seen in Alzheimer's. During this time she had found that the brain produces its own insulin. In attendance on the show to verify her facts was a former Surgeon General. There is other ongoing research efforts due to the increase in deaths, and the cost in care.

Reports today indicate the cost of care for family members who develop Alzheimer's is "estimated to be $214 billion for this year alone."

Other researchers are looking at other causes. Harvard researchers also show there might be evidence that certain "protein clumps" accumulate on brain cells, causing Alzheimer's. While the Nature journal recently published a protein found that might help genes suppress the Alzheimer's disease, no therapies or cures currently exist, indicating much more research and funding is needed for Alzheimer's.

“One of our concerns is the fact there are 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, but [so far] we have no treatments to slow, stop, or prevent the disease,” said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives for the Alzheimer’s Association.

If you or a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer's and looking for support, please visit the Alzheimer's Association @alzassociation.

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