Are Personalized Treatments the Key to Alzheimer’s Care?
Alzheimer’s home care is one of Preferred HealthStaff’s specialties. We want to make sure that your loved ones can age in place in a dignified manner. This disease is damaging, but fortunately we see new advances in treating this ailment all the time. Someday soon we could even see personalized treatments for clients with Alzheimer’s disease.
A personalized treatment would evaluate a variety of factors to determine what the best course forward is for a particular client. Before, the same basic approach would generally be used for every client with the disease. Now that we’ve learned so much more about it, we can find better, more effective ways to treat an individual. Here’s a look at some of the technology and new advances that could make these new treatments possible, improving Alzheimer’s care.
Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is one technology garnering attention in the Alzheimer’s care field. Sending electronic pulses through the brain can actually promote healthy activity in neural circuits that have been affected by Alzheimer’s or other neurological diseases. Currently, clients undergoing deep brain stimulation therapy get the same treatment, without any deviations for specific individual.
That may be changing. The next stage of dementia care could involve a more targeted approach that focus on optimal brain stimulation signals for an individual. Specific regions of an Alzheimer’s client’s brain may not benefit from deep brain stimulation, while other areas need to be targeted more. Advanced computational tools could help us determine who needs deep brain stimulation, and where they need it. This treatment has already helped slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in some clients, according to a recent study, so personalized care could make it even more effective.
In some ways, sensory therapy is already mostly personalized for specific clients. Sensory therapy can include art therapy, music therapy, poetry therapy, and other forms of treatment that often use art in a therapeutic environment. Specific forms of this can help trigger memories or help a client in Alzheimer’s home care reconnect with family members and other loved ones. The trick is finding the kind of sensory therapy that works for specific clients.
Drugs Designed for a Client’s Unique Genes
There are already some medications prescribed during an Alzheimer’s care regimen. A new study shows that focusing on a client’s gene expression can help make treatments more effective. Current drugs can modify brain properties and gene expression at the same time, so a medication that was designed with a specific gene expression in mind would be more effective than a general, one size fits all approach. Personalized drug treatments could be more helpful for clients, while reducing the occurrence of harmful side effects and lowering costs.
These are just some of the therapies that could end up becoming more personalized as the years go on. As providers of dementia home care, we’ll be paying close attention to the continued development of more targeted treatments for the disease. As research continues, we think that personalized treatments could lead to better outcomes for clients.