Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that impacts the way the brain stores and retrieves memories. Four percent of people have the disease at age 75, but by age 85 the average climbs to 50 percent – and even higher if there is a family history.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but specialized treatments can improve the outlook for patients suffering from the disorder or other types of dementia or memory loss. UT Southwestern Medical Center’s team of researchers and physicians can offer the most advanced care to provide assistance and relief for patients and their families.
In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, memory disorders treated at UT Southwestern include:
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Lewy body disease
- Memory disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington’s disease
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
Groundbreaking research at UT Southwestern provides new hope for future treatments. Recent tests involving cholesterol-reducing drugs showed that the medications are effective at lowering cholesterol levels in the brain. Waxy buildups of cholesterol in the brain are one sign of Alzheimer’s disease. This discovery may lead to new ways to fight the debilitating effects of the disorder.
Our Cell Biology Department has also made important strides in understanding the disease. Researchers have isolated the portion of an enzyme that produces a particular protein that leads to Alzheimer’s. Now that the specific section has been pinpointed, researchers may be able to develop treatments that target this section and block the protein’s production.