Day in and day out, researchers are looking for treatments for the often life-changing condition that affects over 1% of children between 3 and 17. Though a cure for Autism may or may not be around the corner, there are often new advancements, and specialists are trying to find the missing link that will answer the difficult questions. One route that many researchers take, is associating Autism with other similar conditions in which there are successful treatments for. Another way, is to take a look at similarly structured conditions that might not have a cure yet, but have had their own advancements. The possibility of joint-discoveries gives researchers another avenue to explore when searching for cures and treatments for Autism.
One of the conditions that appears to have many of the same characteristics as Autism is one that affects over 26 millions people worldwide. Alzheimer’s traditionally affects the elderly population, but with many of the same symptoms as The one substantial difference is simply the age range of the people that the conditions effect. Autism traditionally affects adolescents while Alzheimer’s tends to attack the elderly population. Setting aside this key difference, Autism and Alzheimer’s have a striking amount of similarities as well.
Autism shares a number of symptoms with Alzheimer’s including those on both physical and psychological level. Both conditions often leave their sufferers with the tendency to become catatonic at times, have attention transition issues, become easily distracted and/or disoriented and have difficulty with language comprehension. The similarities between the two conditions are in the hundreds – particularly in the similar brain patterns and symptoms.
These likenesses leave you thinking – could Alzheimer’s hold a piece of the puzzle that is finding a cure for Autism? There is currently research being done on a common drug, Namenda which slows the rate of decline in Alzheimer’s patients. Clinicians are studying the possibility that the drug will assist in the treatment of Autism by targeting the same areas in which Alzheimer’s Patients are affected.