Those who love reading fantasy couldn’t miss the information that one of the most famous writers of this genre Sir Terry Pratchett has died aged 66. Eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. What are the trends in Alzheimer’s disease research?
Nearly 3 million Americans re diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease each year. Most cases are people aged 40 and higher. Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain cell connections and the cells themselves degenerate and die, eventually destroying memory and other important mental functions of patients. There is no definitive cure yet, but medications and therapy management strategies may temporarily lessen the symptoms of disease. Alzheimer’s disease is not a stand alone condition. It belongs to a group of Dementia diseases and it is the the most common type. We were interested in how the today’s research in Dementia looks like and what are the trends in Alzheimer’s disease research?
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of Dementia, accounting for 10 percent of cases, so one should think that it will too have a well-developed research paradigm. However, the bellow figure shows that the second place in the research publication activity belongs to Parkinson’s disease, also type of Dementia related to Alzheimer’s disease. Huntington’s disease, although its prevalence is much lower than the prevalence of Vascular dementia, is two times more popular research topic than Vascular dementia.
The countries with most active research on Alzheimer’s disease are USA, United Kingdom and Japan. What you cannot see on the bellow graph is, that the number of publications from USA (28 126) is nearly 7 times bigger than the number of publication from UK (4825). Even with this gap, we are happy to report, that the research is really spread through three continents. Looking at the broader data, we have observed an unusual frequency of international and cross-university collaborations. Compared to a development of other popular research topics in life sciences (e.g. cancer, asthma, vaccination), the size of Alzheimer’s disease research paradigm is growing rapidly, which reflects the relevance of this disease to global economy.
We believe, that above mentioned signs are once of healthy and dynamic research agenda. Available data suggest, that the trend will keep growing and the research will speed up in following years. This will help us understand the disease on level necessary and manage the patients’ treatment more carefully.
What can you do to protect ourselves from Dementia? Global research data suggest that Alzheimer’s disease is strongly connected with heart diseases. Studies imply that the right diet and a physical exercise in combination with social contact and intellectual activity can help to prevent an early onset of the disease.
If you would like to read into the research, here is where to start: the most cited research paper about Alzheimer’s disease is “Alzheimer’s disease.” The journal with the highest number of published articles on the topic is Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD, with nearly 2500 articles. Author with the highest number of contributions in terms of research papers about Alzheimer’s disease is Kaj Blennow, one of the authors of the above mentioned most cited research paper. Kaj Blennow contributed to nearly 700 research papers so far, making him a leading scientist in the search of terminal cure for Alzheimer’s disease. And that is something to be proud of.
Follow us on Twitter: @scicurve