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NIH Increases Funding to Promote Nationwide Effort in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease

The U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) recently announced that it would be providing $45 million in funding for researchers to test novel drugs and therapies towards Alzheimer’s disease prevention, promoting a nationwide effort to find a solution to this prevalent degenerative disease. The NIH hopes this funding will help support research to find ways in which to stop the onset of Alzheimer’s, or at least delay its destructive progression. The United States has currently invested around $400 million to date in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease is currently the most prevalent form of dementia plaguing the elderly population and affects an individual’s ability to engage in daily activities. This aspect of the disease is devastating as it greatly impairs an individual’s independence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are currently about 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. Our elderly loved ones are at higher risk of being affected by Alzheimer’s disease, as age is currently the most significant known risk factor correlated with the disease.

Past efforts towards stopping the disease have failed to successfully prevent or delay the onset of the disease. Thus, scientists now believe that drugs used to fight Alzheimer’s may have been administered too late, at a time when significant brain cell damage has already occurred. Thus, scientists are now attempting to test treatments during what they consider an optimal window for an Alzheimer’s disease drug’s efficacy. It is currently known that the disease attacks the brain before any symptoms, such as memory loss, are exhibited. Scientists believe that changes in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s may take place over a span of years or decades. Therefore, they believe this particular window of time may be an appropriate time in which to test treatments to combat the onset of Alzheimer’s, and plan to test these treatments in patients who are currently symptom free.
As the number of those suffering from the disease continues to rise, an effective therapy must be found, as Alzheimer’s disease is not a natural aspect of the progression of aging. Currently, a significant portion of elderly residents in nursing home facilities suffer from dementia and need close, individualized care in many aspects of daily life. Caretakers of elderly residents suffering from Alzheimer’s must be aware that they have needs that are much different from those suffering from other ailments. For example, those suffering from Alzheimer’s may initially need some aid sporadically throughout the day, such as making sure they do not get lost when going somewhere. However, it may eventually progress to a point where they will no longer be able to perform even simple activities of daily life. Therefore, sufferers generally require round-the-clock care. Additionally, caretakers must be educated as to how to deal with Alzheimer’s patients, including how to deal with patients when they exhibit aggression or agitation.

While efforts are now being focused towards the prevention or delay of the onset of Alzheimer’s via funding and research, your loved one may already be exhibiting Alzheimer’s symptoms or may have been suffering from Alzheimer’s for a long period of time. Unfortunately, understaffing in nursing facilities, along with insufficient staff training results in substandard and inadequate care of Alzheimer’s patients. This is because there is an insufficient number of qualified nursing staff available to properly monitor and assist patients with their needs. However, nursing homes are required by law to employ sufficient staff in order to provide individualized care for each of their residents. At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, we believe that no one should have to be the victim of nursing home neglect. Rather, your loved one deserves the highest quality care. If you believe your loved one is suffering as a result of understaffing, we encourage you to contact us at (888) 606-3453 for a free consultation today. We have locations in both Northern and Southern California, and serve cities located throughout the state.