Halting the Decline in Cognition: New Insights into Alzheimer’s Disease
- Pp. 73-91 (19)Kareeann Sok Fun Khow and Tuck Yean Yong
Alzheimer’s disease is a major public health concern globally and has been identified as a research priority. Although this disease has been recognized for more than a century, there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis in order to advance development of disease-modifying treatments. Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease remains the main method of identifying the disease but neuroimaging and biomarkers are emerging as adjunct tests in selective cases. Only a few pharmacological treatments are available for Alzheimer’s disease and modest benefits are only observed in the mild-to-moderate disease. Without effective treatment, non-pharmacological approaches and prevention remain important. Nonpharmacological approaches such as exercise, cognitive stimulation therapy and computerized mind games are potentially beneficial in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Behavioural and psychological symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease are still challenging to manage and require a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches. Several novel therapies are currently under investigation and clinical trials of these agents will reveal if they are beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.