In a continued effort to better understand Alzheimer’s disease, medical research continues to explore both what causes it and how to treat or cure it. Currently, no cure exists for this disease. However, considering the impact it has on approximately 5.5 million seniors and their families, any new grounds we make are important ones.
PTSD and Alzheimer’s
A recent study out of Germany has discovered a possible link between Alzheimer’s disease and PTSD at the molecular level. University Medical Center Goettingen researchers hypothesized that specific factors would cause activation of genes. This would ultimately contribute to Alzheimer’s. Tests were conducted on animals that had PTSD like symptoms earlier in life and were later exposed to other risk factors for Alzheimer’s. The mice then underwent genetic modifications. Next, they were exposed to fear conditioning prior to a memory test. These mice showed accelerated age-associated memory decline. While not conclusive, the test showed that Alzheimer’s and PTSD may be related.
Impacts of PTSD on the Body
The findings of this research are perhaps not too surprising when you consider the multiple impacts PTSD has on the body and mind. The heart, brain and other organs are all negatively impacted by undiagnosed or uncontrolled PTSD. It can hinder blood flow and even contribute to organ failure in some severe instances.
Promising information about Vorinostat
As part of the research, a drug called Vorinostat was also tested. Using a placebo, the researchers found that the drug significantly slowed cognitive decline in the genetically mutated mice. This could prove promising if future human testing is successful. It might provide some new options for people with Alzheimer’s who have also experienced PTSD, depression or anxiety.
Helping us Better Understand Alzheimer’s Disease
This type of research helps us to better understand Alzheimer’s disease and reformulate our care plans to best assist seniors diagnosed with this form of dementia. Agencies like Salus Homecare San Gabriel Valley rely on such information and share it with our caregivers through ongoing trainings. This help them to offer effective information for seniors with Alzheimer’s and their family caregivers. While this particular study does not yet offer a cure or treatment approach for Alzheimer’s, it can help us to understand what caused a person to develop it in the first place. This level of understanding often makes it easier for families to cope with what they are faced with. Coping makes it easier to plan for what is ahead.
Alzheimer’s disease impacts seniors across the globe in every demographic group. As we await the answers we need to begin working toward a cure, better understanding the root cause of the disease helps us to cope, create effective care plans and best meet the needs of seniors in our care. Salus Homecare San Gabriel Valley continues to support such research, and we look to it to educate our caregivers and improve quality of life for the seniors and families in our care.
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