Is there hope for the future? World Alzheimer's Month 2020 — Scope | Disability forum
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Is there hope for the future? World Alzheimer's Month 2020

Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,465 Disability Gamechanger
Although there isn't currently a cure for Alzheimer's disease, professionals from a range of disciplines are working hard to both find a cure, and to make the world a more dementia-friendly place.

What research is currently being done?

I spoke to Selina Wray, Alzheimer's Research UK Senior Research Fellow at UCL Institute of Neurology, about her fascinating research into Alzheimer's disease and the future of research into the area:

There are currently no disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer's disease, i.e. there is nothing that can delay the onset or slow down the progression of the disease. This is why research into Alzheimer's disease is so crucial, so we can understand better the processes happening in the brain, and develop the new treatments we desperately need.

There has been a glimmer of hope this year, as the FDA has filed for approval for Aducanumab, a drug that targets the build up of the amyloid protein in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, and has recently been shown to be beneficial to people in the early stages of the disease. This, together with other ongoing clinical trials, has given a injection of optimism to the research community that we are on the right track to develop the treatment breakthroughs we need.

Dementia-Friendly Communities

Another positive step forward is the creation of ‘dementia-friendly communities’. These can exist anywhere, and are something that we can all contribute towards. You can read more about them on the Alzheimer's Society website.

The Alzheimer's Society say that dementia-friendly communities are important because:

  • Many people living with dementia feel society doesn't understand the condition, it's impact, or how to interact with those living with it
  • Too many people with dementia withdraw from their community as the condition progresses
  • Over a third of people with dementia have felt lonely recently
  • More than a quarter of carers feel cut off from society
  • People affected by dementia can continue to play an active and valuable role in their communities if they are appropriately supported

One of the more ambitious dementia-friendly community projects is the Hogeweyk dementia village in the Netherlands- how cool is that?

Activity Groups

There are also lots of activity groups that people with Alzheimer's disease can attend. Find one near you on the Alzheimer's Society website.

What do you think we could do to help make our communities more dementia-friendly?

Do you think 'dementia villages' are the way forward?

What do you think the focus of research into Alzheimer's disease should be?

Read next: What is Alzheimer's?, Is Alzheimer's disease a disability?, and How can we care for people with Alzheimer's?
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