There is Reason for Hope as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Comes to a Close

Dr. Chuang-Kuo Wu, the new Director of GAP-Net site Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital spoke with NBC10 about the latest developments in #Alzheimers research. Watch the full interview or read the highlights below.

As Alzheimer’s Awareness Month comes to a close, there is a reason for hope.

There have been no new FDA approved drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease in the last two decades, but research has become fast and furious. And an experimental drug, aducanumab, is being considered for approval.

“We actually have the ability to diagnose people’s symptoms more precisely, what’s going on in Alzheimer’s Disease in the much earlier stage,” said Dr. Chuang-Kuo Wu, the new director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital.

In some studies, he said researchers have the ability to see changes in the brain that indicate a person will develop this memory-robbing disease, down the road.

What you don’t want is this: “A lot of patients we’ve seen in clinic they’ve kind of neglected symptoms, wait until too obvious. It can be too late,” said Wu.

Too late for effective treatments that could slow progression. That’s why research is focused on those with family history and those very early on in the disease process.

And with so many possible experimental treatments, they can be tailored specifically for you, said Wu, and they can see if they’re working.

“We can actually test them before and after treatment so that keeps the hope of treatment success in the future,” said Wu.

Early signs of Alzheimer’s can be something as simple as forgetting your computer password. Something we might attribute to stress. But pay attention to even the most subtle memory changes.

And do things to help keep your memory healthy.

“Such as change of lifestyle, enhanced intellectual activities or nutrition, they also help,” said Wu. “Studies also show even dancing will be helpful as well.”

There is so much going on in the field of Alzheimer’s research, including a Lifestyle study.

And they’re always looking for study participants, your way of helping others, and possibly yourself.

Originally posted by NBC10 on November 30, 2020.

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