Alzheimer’s Disease: A Look at Current and Future Treatment Options
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia known today, with more than 5.2 million people suffering from this condition in the United States alone. This number is expected to rise to approximately 13.8 million by 2050 unless therapies effective in slowing or preventing the disease are developed. There are currently five FDA-approved medications for the treatment of AD symptoms. Four of these medications fall into a class of drugs known as cholinesterase inhibitors. The fifth medication, memantine, falls into a separate drug class. Because these two classes of drugs have significantly different effects on the body, they can be used together in what is known as combination therapy. The overall goal of this project was to determine whether combination therapy is more effective than cholinesterase monotherapy for treating AD and to identify new types of AD medications that are currently under development. In order to answer these questions, a literature review was conducted. This literature review focused on information from the National Institute of Health, Alzheimer’s Association, and peer-reviewed journals that were published in the last ten years.