Memory Mondays: Will Alzheimer’s Be Cured in Your Lifetime?

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Will Alzheimer’s be cured in your lifetime?

Despite bleak statistics surrounding the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and study after study outlining risk factors, many people maintain hope that a cure will become available before they die.

In the largest global survey exploring perceptions of Alzheimer’s disease, about 60% of adults indicated that they believe there will be an Alzheimer’s cure within their lifetime. However, 62% also worry they may develop Alzheimer’s.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with Biopharmaceutical Company Amgen, global health care company Novartis and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), in association with Alzheimer ’s Disease International (ADI). It included responses from more than 10,000 people across 10 countries.

Is Alzheimer’s Curable?

The key to reaching an Alzheimer’s cure is medical research, according to the vast majority of survey participants. What’s more, 79% are willing to partake in research studies. A similar percentage expressed interest in genetic testing to identify their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Yet three-quarters of adults remain unsure of how to get involved.

“At present, there is no cure and limited treatment options for Alzheimer’s, but this survey clearly shows that people are willing to participate in research to help treat and to hopefully find a cure,” Paola Barbarino, CEO at ADI, said in a news release. “We need to demystify and remove awareness barriers to participation in medical research, making all suitable candidates aware of how they can get involved.

And while there are more than 400 clinical studies recruiting in Alzheimer’s worldwide, slow enrollment often proves a challenge for researchers.

“Scientists are making great progress in the fight against this disease, but an estimated 80% of studies fail to meet recruitment goals on time, which delays critically important research,” said Pierre N. Tariot, M.D., director of BAI and co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative.”

Such critically important research often involves testing drugs to prevent, slow or treat Alzheimer’s disease. A group of researchers from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and Lund University in Sweden, for example, recently unveiled a plan to target pathogens responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.

So when will Alzheimer’s be cured? It’s difficult to say. But a positive outlook and consistent research can only drive society forward toward a cure.