Around 5.8 million Americans age 65+ are living with Alzheimer’s. 80% are age 75+. One in 10 people age 65+ has Alzheimer’s. Almost two-thirds of sufferers are women
Statistics for the US also show that, compared to senior age white people, senior African-Americans are around twice as inclined to suffer from Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Hispanics are around one and one-half times as inclined to suffer from Alzheimer’s or other dementias. These facts are rarely brought to the fore. This situation must not continue, and more resources are urgently needed to address this debilitating condition that brings so much sadness to all sufferers’ families and loved ones.
By 2050, the number of people age 65+ with Alzheimer’s may grow to a projected 13.8 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or cure Alzheimer’s disease.
Prevention and cure are what we need. And we need them fast. The failed trials for dementia drugs have to be a thing of the past, and new avenues have to be explored. The latest news on finding a cure, pertains to scientists in the UK who have launched a landmark trial for treating dementia by delivering electric currents deep into the brain. Thanks to Bill Gates and other US philanthropists, the UK Dementia Research Institute and Imperial College London, have received a $1.5m grant.
This will enable them to trial this state-of-the-art technology. of note. The trial is one of 16 given grants by the $60 million Part the Cloud program – a scheme funded by philanthropists Bill Gates and Mikey Hoag, and the US Alzheimer’s Association. Microsoft billionaire Mr Gates has spoken of witnessing the effects of the disease first-hand, and said finding a treatment needs increased and continued research investments.
The scientists picked 24 patients suffering with early-stage Alzheimer’s, so that neurologists can test out the very promising high tech therapy. The latter is known as temporal interference brain stimulation, and this involves placing electrodes on the scalp. Two harmless high-frequency beams are then sent into the brain via the electrodes. (These have too high a frequency to interfere with the brain’s healthy tissue which they pass).The participants will attend daily hour-long sessions over a 14 day period.
The beams comprise 2,000 Hz and 2,005 Hz, and these generate a third current when they cross; a low-frequency wave of 5 Hz. It is this reaction that holds interest for the scientists. It will have the same frequency at which brain cells fire – allowing it to spark diseased neuron’s back into action.
The new wave will be triggered in a region deep in the brain (the hippocampus). This is responsible for shaping new memories, and will hopefully regenerate the region’s mitochondria, (the energy source which becomes damaged by Alzheimer’s).
As of now, tests on healthy participants show that the zapping technique increases blood flow to the brain, and delivers improved facial-recognition test results. However the new trial, which will kick off in January next year, will be the first chance for Alzheimer’s sufferers to undergo treatment. We wish the team the best of luck!