30 Nov 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), US, have reported the development of a molecular compound, CLR01, which has been found to prevent toxic proteins from binding together to kill the brain's neurons. Though the research first focused on Parkinson's disease, they believe Alzheimer's disease may be triggered in part by a similar binding, with different proteins involved.
While the research is encouraging, there is a long way to go before Alzheimer's disease is considered preventable. The best treatment for Alzheimer's right now is to detect it early and then work towards slowing the symptoms. Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed via an extensive evaluation done by a qualified clinician, looking to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms of dementia.
There is also a basic memory screening test which can evaluate language skills, memory, and cognitive abilities. While it cannot detect Alzheimer's definitively at this time, the basic memory screening test can indicate whether further screening is recommended and provide a baseline.
"The problem with early diagnosis is that many people are so afraid that they do not seek medical attention in a timely fashion," says Virginia elder law attorney, Mr Andrew H Hook. "It can be uncomfortable for a loved one to even broach the subject."