Significant Alzheimer’s Disease Research Milestones

Posted on August 01, 2019

SVC 2019 August 1

The discovery of Alzheimer’s disease occurred over a century ago. As the fight continues and Alzheimer’s disease research progresses, researchers are starting to understand more and more about the condition. This research has led to the development of memory care and memory support services like the ones Silver Comet Village has to offer.  Even though there is no cure or way to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, there is a bright future and much hope ahead! Silver Comet Village would like to highlight a few significant developments in Alzheimer’s disease research that have bettered our understanding of the disease and paved the road for a brighter and hopefully, Alzheimer’s free future.

Early Development Stages

While we owe most of the research progression to more recent years, the discovery of the disease itself is just as important. Alois Alzheimer discovered the disease in 1906 having performed an autopsy on one of his patients. Alois noted, ‘a peculiar severe disease process of the cerebral cortex’ and reported it to his colleagues. The phrase ‘Alzheimer’s disease’ wasn’t coined until 1910, by one of Alois’ colleagues, Emil Kraepelin. 

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease research was slow developing after its discovery due to technological restrictions of the time. The next research breakthrough wouldn’t happen until 1931 when the electron microscope was invented. This invention allowed scientists to further study the brain and its tissue in much greater detail than ever before. 

Modern Research Developments

Alzheimer’s disease research has truly expanded in the modern era. While the early 1900s were bogged down by a lack of new and innovative technology, it broadened late in the century. The cognitive scales were one of the first significant developments. Created in 1968, the scales served researchers and scientists in measuring cognitive impairment and estimating the scale of damage to brain tissue. This development helped push research further because researchers could now adequately study and measure a patient’s cognitive decline. 

A milestone that also pushed research forward would come in 1974. Congress established and funded the National Institute on Aging, the federal agency that does the primary research for Alzheimer’s disease. A decade later, in 1984, the NIA officially began funding Alzheimer’s Disease Centers, which created a nationwide network. The Food and Drug Administration played a rather significant role in 1993 by approving the first Alzheimer’s disease treatment drug, Tacrine. While memory care services were provided, this was the first medication for Alzheimer’s disease.

Present and Future Endeavors 

Alzheimer’s disease research is still a very active and vibrant topic. As we continue the fight and push towards a better tomorrow, it’s essential to acknowledge what brought us to this point. We still have a long road ahead of us before researchers find a cure, but the future is bright. In 2013, the G8 Dementia Summit called for global action against dementia and aimed to have a cure or a therapy-altering discovery by 2025. Alzheimer’s disease research doesn’t only require researchers and scientists; it also needs people, like you and our family at Silver Comet Village, to continue to raise awareness.

We still have a long journey ahead until we find a cure, but there is hope. Memory care and memory support services provide a much-needed respite for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and their family. While we may not have a cure, we do have methods of managing the disease. The MIND Diet, accompanied by regular exercises, social interaction, and brain teasers, alongside medication, can help. Adhering to a routine and sticking to it can be the key to successfully managing Alzheimer’s disease and slowing its progression. While the memory care services at Silver Comet Village don’t open until the end of this year, we are still happy to help with it. If you’re interested in knowing more about Silver Comet Village’s memory support services, please feel free to contact us!