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Scientific Breakthroughs & Caregiver Tips
Dementia Brain Science
Research into the causes and progression of dementia is focused on finding new ways to diagnose and treat the disorder, and there is hope that a more thorough understanding of the chemical mechanisms involved could lead to drugs that prevent dementia or reverse its effects. As research is ongoing, scientists are finding ways to build on what they already know about dementia, and they are also regularly making new discoveries. For example:
- Researchers are working to develop new drugs that don’t just treat the symptoms of dementia, but that could disrupt the chemical processes in the brain that cause dementia in the first place. Scientists have a fairly complete understanding of how protein clumping causes neurological damage in Alzheimer’s patients, for example, and they are attempting to find drugs that halt the process that creates the clumps.
- Scientists are discovering new forms of dementia that seem to arise from different brain-chemistry problems than those that cause previously known forms of dementia. An example is limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE) a recently identified type of dementia that looks like Alzheimer’s but that seems to be caused by an entirely different brain protein.
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