What We Now Know About Alzheimer's That We Didn't Before
Nearly all clinical trials of drugs targeting beta-amyloid or tau have failed. One hypothesis: A drug might need to be given before lasting harm is done to the brain or at least at the earliest stage of symptoms, says Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, vice-chair of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and part of a team researching this. He's also investigating whether drugs that control inflammation could be a better strategy for some advanced cases. And as with heart disease, HIV, and cancer, drug combinations may be the way of the future. In the meantime, says Tanzi, medication can produce small, temporary improvements in memory, lucidity, and mood.
our brains at risk: An estimated 5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, about 5.3 million of them age 65 and older.