There are more new Alzheimer's drug treatments being developed now than ever before. The advancement in the understanding of the changes the disease causes in the brain has led to a new generation of potential treatments. There are dozens of trials going on right now for various drugs that aim to counter Alzheimer's disease in new ways. The process, however, of bringing new drugs to market is a long one. Therefore, it may take several years for these new treatments to become available.

There are currently only five FDA approved Alzheimer's drugs available. These drugs have been known to delay the symptoms of Alzheimers for six to twelve months on average in fifty percent of the people who take them. These drugs are meant to treat the symptoms of the disease, but do not attack the underlying cause.

New lines of drugs being tested today will attempt to target the cause of the disease by stopping the physical changes in the brain that occur in Alzheimer's patients. There are several different brain changes that Alzheimer's is known to cause that new drugs may potentially target. Eventually a cocktail of drugs may be used to stop these negative brain changes.

Examples of potential brain changes to target:

  • Beta-amyloid - A protein that makes up the brain plaques that form in Alzheimer's patients. Scientists are gaining a better understanding of how this protein is formed. There are now several clinical trials aimed at targeting this protein in order to stop the formation of brain plaques.
  • Tau protien - A protein that makes up the tangles that form within the brain cells of Alzheimer's patients. These tangles are thought to interrupt vital cell transport systems, robbing the cells of nourishment and eventually destroying them. Researchers are investigating methods of targeting this protein to stop it from forming these brain cell tangles.
  • Inflammation - This is another major brain abnormality observed in Alzheimer's patients. Scientists are working on new localized treatments for brain inflammation that may help in cases of Alzheimer's.

There are many clinical trials going on investigating these and other new treatment stragtegies. It is important that people volunteer for these trials in order to reach the goal of developing new treatment or possibly even a cure for the disease. More volunteers will help to reach these new treatments more rapidly. For more information contact an alzheimer's research or treatment center near you.

Author's Bio: 

Joseph Kennedy is a web author and administrator for an online Caregiver Support Resource.