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Researchers Taking Lessons from Cancer Research to Tackle Sundowning

Articles January 21st, 2016

We’ve written about Sundowning before, because it’s a topic of concern for many families. As Senior Care Professionals, we are always reading up on the latest research in the field of Alzheimers, Dementia, and other geriatric health concerns. Recently, there have been some exiting medical research findings!

New Research

A recent study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology discusses a new approach in finding treatments for circadian (sleep) disorders. Researchers already know there is an important link between sleep disorders and dementia. The problem is that developing medications for sleep disorders is difficult because there can be multiple causes. Another problem is that people’s bodies may respond to medication very differently, based on genes and other factors.

Cancer researchers have had similar problems in their field. As a consequence, they have been on the forefront of developing “Personalized Medicine”, which includes genetic testing and other evaluations to select the right therapies for the patient. Researchers are hoping to eventually use genetic information to develop medicine targeted specifically to an individual.

Outlook for Sundowning

As the medical community’s understanding of the biology behind Alzheimers and other types of dementia expands, drugs are being developed at a rapid pace. Recently, researchers have begun exploring how targeted treatments might prevent or slow the progression of these diseases more effectively. Along with this work, clinicians are studying symptom “clusters” like Sundowning more closely to see if there are biological opportunities for treatment.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s will affect a huge number of Americans, both personally and in families; and it can be devastating. Helping seniors who are experiencing Sundowning and other dementia-related agitation can be a full-time job. We already know that early intervention and medication can slow the progression of these diseases. That’s why getting help caring for your loved one is so important. Whether it’s in-home care or moving to an assisted living facility, there are plenty of options. If you or your family are feeling overwhelmed, our Advisors would be happy to help you, free of charge.

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