Virtually everyone would prefer to age gracefully. Unfortunately, many seniors never get that chance and instead face serious health deterioration that occurs quickly, often without warning. This creates complications for many families who wait to conduct long-term care planning. Our New York elder law attorneys realize that many local community members have every intention of seeking out professional help to ensure they have access to the resources they need in their golden years. But many residents simply wait too long before seeking out that assistance, limiting the options available. It is ideal to plan before one’s health deteriorates to have maximum benefit from the process.
This is particularly true in the case of cognitive mental diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Experts on the condition explain that there remains a big problem with early detection. Many family members fail to discover that a loved one’s mental condition has been affected by the condition until the loss of functioning is severe. This often makes dealing with the senior’s medical needs much more complicated, particularly when a Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney were not previously created.
Sadly, waiting too long before conducting New York elder care planning is like crossing a one-way bridge. With our current state of medical knowledge the effects of these cognitive conditions are virtually permanent–we have yet to master treatment options that might reverse most of the damage. However, this week scientists out of Case Western Reserve University announced what some are calling a “breakthrough” in Alzheimer’s research. Published in a report in this week’s edition of the journal Science, the researchers have apparently discovered a cancer drug that has been able to reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms in certain animal modules.
In both humans and animals, Alzheimer’s conditions are caused by plague deposits that build up in the brain. According to the report, this cancer drug was able to cut down on the number of plaque deposits in the test cases. In some situations the drug was able to completely reverse the cognitive and memory deficits caused by the condition within 72 hours.
The drug, Bexarotene, has been approved in the U.S. for cancer treatment for the last ten years. However, scientists now know that it may have important implications for the millions suffering from Alzheimer’s as well. The lead author of the study summarized, “This is a particularly exciting and rewarding study […] Our next objective is to ascertain if it acts similarly in humans. We are at an early stage in translating this basic science discovery into a treatment.”
Hopefully one day the consequences of debilitating conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia can be reversed. This latest research seems to be a positive step in that direction. However, until that day comes, all residents should be prudent about their planning choices and make preparations for their senior care and inheritance issues as early as possible. Planning can never be conducted too early, but it is often conducted too late.
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