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Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease. Patients will suffer from memory loss, speech impairment, sluggish response, loss of mind, and abnormal behaviors, and even do not know their loved ones.


An epidemic


Data show that in 2018, 50 million elderly people worldwide suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and an average elderly person fell into this dilemma every 3 seconds. Data confirm that there are approximately 5.8 million Alzheimer’s patients in the United States; and this number will more than double with the continued growth of the elderly population in the United States; it may even increase to nearly 14 million by 2050.

In other words, Alzheimer’s disease is likely to become an epidemic in the middle of this century.

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease need long-term care, and the disease needs to last for many years to make the patient identify with themselves psychologically. The cost of treatment and care is naturally high. In the opinion of experts, the psychological harm to families of Alzheimer’s disease is terrible, because they will witness the loved ones fall into the “middle of abyss”, and often have disturbing personality changes.


Funding for basic research is scarce


Forbes reporter recently interviewed Dr. Greg Petsko, a neurologist at Weill Cornell Medical School, to discuss how researchers “attack the wrong target” for decades and why their research focus has been so misplaced. It is encouraging that more and more doctors are changing their research focus and moving in a more promising direction.

According to Dr. Greg Petsko, developing a method to treat Alzheimer’s disease costs between $ 500 million and $ 700 million. Case after case of clinical failure in the industry is sad. In the field of basic research, few research resources are dedicated to the field of Alzheimer’s disease.

In Petsko’s opinion, it is impractical to rely solely on government organizations for funding. It is essential to crack the field of Alzheimer’s disease that NGOs should invest more money and more intelligence for this.

It is reported that about 2 billion US dollars are used for Alzheimer’s disease research in the United States each year, and the number will increase further. But at the same time, the United States will spend $ 200 billion annually to care for Alzheimer’s patients, and it will increase by more than $ 1 trillion by 2050.

In other words, the current cost of nursing care for Alzheimer’s disease in the United States is 100 times higher than research efforts to find a cure for the disease.


By whom?


As early as the 20th century, German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer first published a case of “Alzheimer’s disease” and named him Alzheimer’s disease. So far, more than a hundred years have passed, and people have still failed to unveil the mystery of the disease, and the fight against Alzheimer’s disease has made little progress.

On November 2, 2019, the China Drug Administration (NMPA) approved mannut sodium capsules for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease based on a phase III clinical conditional study of 818 patients. Questioners point out that the drug has only one subjective indicator, the Alzheimer’s Disease Evaluation Cognition Scale (ADAS-Cog), which supports marketing, and other effectiveness indicators such as the Impression Change Scale Score (CIBIC-PLUS) have only non-significant Trends, while the activities of daily living scale (ADCS-ADL) and neuropsychiatric questionnaire (NPI) were not different from placebo.

On December 12, 2019, Biogen presented more data on aducanumab at the Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trial (CTAD) conference. Skeptics point out that the new data is not impressive, it represents a carefully selected patient population and may not represent the real world.

Alzheimer’s disease is the worst-hit area for clinical trial failures: The scientific community is tangling over whether to give up amyloid β-protein (Aβ) targets in the brain; research on Tau protein has not yet achieved a significant breakthrough ; The failure rate against BACE targets is as high as 80%.

By the middle of the 21st century, the group suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may be you and me at this moment. Who can cure this disease? Does the gut-brain axis principle work? Does eating more seaweed work?

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