Thomas Edison’s words hold special meaning today regarding the race to locate both the cause and a cure for Alzheimer’s disease: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Each day seems to bring hopeful news of one more clinical trial, followed shortly after by the frustrating news that results did not meet expectations – and so the pattern carries on.
One neuroscientist, Christian Holscher, is suggesting that to be able to win the war against Alzheimer’s, we have to look past the tried-and-tried-again plaque theory. In fact, he points towards the identifier of the disease himself, Alois Alzheimer, who stressed that while certain plaques were found exclusively in older brains, there is no conclusive evidence that they were the cause of Alzheimer’s. But researchers have persistently honed in on these plaques as the culprit, simply to come up empty-handed.
Holscher advises an intriguing avenue that needs to be explored instead in our mission to destroy Alzheimer’s: the connection between Alzheimer’s and insulin. We understand that people with type 2 diabetes have a greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s; and, we understand that brain cells require insulin to grow and remain healthy. Could insulin deficiencies lead to the types of irreparable neuron damage exhibited in Alzheimer’s?
Studies of brain tissue from people who have Alzheimer’s that are deceased determined that insulin’s effectiveness in brain cell growth was destroyed, and strangely, this was true in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients – leading scientists towards the conclusion that testing diabetic treatments on individuals with Alzheimer’s will probably be worth a try. A recent clinical trial to evaluate this theory displayed promising results, with neuron deterioration stopped in patients throughout the 12-month study.
CareWorks’ Orange County home care team continues to closely follow any and all developments in the ongoing hunt for a cure for and the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Our home healthcare team is highly trained and experienced in successfully managing the more challenging components of the disease, while supporting those involved to live life to their fullest potential. Whether the need is for just a couple of hours every week for family members to take a much-needed break from care, full-time, 24-hour monitoring and assistance, or something in between, CareWorks Health Services is here to assist.
Call us at (949) 859-4700 or contact us online to request additional Alzheimer’s disease resources and to schedule a free consultation, right in the comfort of home, for more information on our specialized Orange County home care assistance.