Researchers Develop a Vaccine to Prevent Alzheimers
Researchers are about to develop a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Claiming the role as the most common form of dementia, about 45% of American seniors (ages 85 and older) are suffering from Alzheimer’s across the country each year.
There’s no known cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s. However, recently it’s found that researchers develop a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s. This is incredible news!
More than half of the people with the disease, might not even know they have it.
In fact, 5.4 million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer’s. The rate of those with the disease is rapidly rising.
Symptoms can develop in individuals as young as 30 years old. Additionally, someone gets an Alzheimer’s diagnosis every 65 seconds in the United States.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico believe they may have uncovered a way to prevent the disease. “I really wanted to take this as a challenge to see if we could develop any sort of treatment” a statement made by Kiran Bhaskar.
Researchers Develop a Vaccine to Prevent Alzheimer’s
This mind consuming disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the country. It’s no wonder researchers are on the hunt for a cure.
Kiran Bhaskar is an associate professor for the University of New Mexico’s Health and Sciences Department. Over the last decade, he’s been studying the disease formally known as Alzheimer’s Disease.
His search for a cure first began with an idea he had back in 2013. Taking an idea, over 5 years old and creating something – potentially life-changing. This could change many lives.
Using mice for testing, Bhaskar and his team of colleagues gave the mice the vaccine. The mice had Alzheimer’s disease and the team gave them a series of injections.
Their findings should give a better idea of how people may react to this vaccine. Although, one student mentions that the vaccine design was to pinpoint a certain protein that is often found in the brain of those with the disease.
The results were pleasing. “Antibodies seem to have cleared pathological tau. Pathological tau is one of the components of these tangles that we find in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease” a statement made by a Ph.D. student, Nicole Maphis.
During the test, the mice were performing in a maze-like setup. The rodents with the vaccine gave a much better performance than those that didn’t receive it.
Alzheimer’s Vaccine Cost
Although these results give hope for a future preventative option, it’s not quite complete. Researchers still have a few more years of testing before they can start using the vaccine on people. The downside is – the cost.
Finalizing the vaccine can cost up to a billion dollars. Bhaskar says “We got to make sure we have a clinical version of the vaccine so that we can test in people.” Testing a small group of people would run the Health Sciences Department about $2 million dollars.
As of now, Maphis and Bhaskar are searching for different partnerships to help them accomplish their goal. The goal is to get a clinical grade vaccine, one they can test on people.
Once researchers develop a vaccine that’s adequate and safe for people, the FDA must first approve the vaccine. And that process could take an additional 5 years.
Dementia & Alzheimer’s
Generally, dementia is a term to describe elderly patients with memory problems. Dementia itself is not a specific disease, but a type of disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a specific form of dementia.
Performing the most simple tasks or acts of daily living can become increasingly difficult, sometimes impossible. Dementia patients suffer from loss of cognitive function. This results in difficulty with common reasoning and then changes in behavior.
Most seniors are living on a set income, family members are left wondering what the cost of coverage will be for their loved one after dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
The more the disease progresses, the more treatment and personal care a patient will need.
Facts About Dementia
Dementia comes in many different forms. Vascular dementia, mixed dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease are just a couple. Most common of all forms is Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Higher risk for AD is found more in women than in men. About 5 million people are suffering from AD in the United States today.
Medical conditions that increase a patient’s risk of AD include, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol are just some of the risk factors.
AD is the 6th leading cause of death for American’s according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Predicting life expectancy for someone with AD is impossible. Every person’s disease will progress at a different rate, affecting each patient differently.
Medicare Coverage for Dementia & Alzheimer’s
Medicare covers any medically necessary treatment for dementia or Alzheimer’s. These diseases are treated the same as any other diseases.
Patients may receive treatment or care in a hospital setting. In this case, Part A benefits cover the hospitalization stay, in addition to any treatments, or medications while there.
Patients receiving care in an outpatient setting will have coverage under Part B benefits.
Specific services Medicare covers include:
- Diagnostic imaging
- Lab work
- Doctor’s office visits
- Home health services
- Physical therapy
- Mental health services
- DME (durable medical equipment)
- Hospice for late stage Alzheimer’s patients
- Annual wellness and health risk assessment
Whether Part A or Part B covers services, the amount is the same. Either part will cover 80% of services/treatments and the beneficiary covers the remaining 20% of costs.
Medicare Does Not Cover
As patients with dementia progress in the disease, their symptoms begin to worsen over time. As memory gets worse, and the acts of living start to become less and less, more extensive routine care is often necessary.
Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for any adult caregiver, adult daycares, or assisted living facilities. Respite care is another service Medicare doesn’t cover.
Respite care is temporary care that’s provided out of the home to give the patient’s caregiver a small break.
Sometimes, caring for a loved one or a dementia patient can be exhausting. Medicare benefits do include respite care for the end stages of the disease.
During this time Part A coverage includes hospice and respite care services.
Get Extra Help with Alzheimer’s and Medicare Costs
As Medicare doesn’t seem to cover some of the necessary services until the end stages of dementia, beneficiaries can avoid some stress by cutting back on costs. Since researchers are ready to develop a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s it’s in your best interest to look for updates on the progress of the vaccine.
Healthcare costs are rising, and SSDI barely covers the cost of living expenses. A Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan is vital to help keep those out-of-pocket medical expenses at a minimum.
Call the number above or compare rates online, we have a 0$ obligation to you and our team is always eager to help!