The professor of health science at the Medical University of South Carolina spoke to the dire need for more therapeutic approaches to treat some of the most difficult symptoms of dementia.
“The need [for these treatments] is extraordinary because we delegate the day-to-day treatment of these patients, which is extremely complicated—they have medical conditions, behavioral conditions, cognitive conditions—to the less-educated [and trained] people in the field.”
The need for treatments for patients with dementia and Alzheimer disease has led to enormous challenges for those in research and development. With a history of failed attempts at pharmacologic approaches and a limited number of symptomatic therapies available, many clinicians are left with essentially only behavioral modification methods to treat their patients. This need is not only restricted to disease-modifying therapies but also the neuropsychiatric symptoms that many patients deal with.
Additionally, every time a potential new agent hits a roadblock, those in the field are left with just another metaphorical punch to the gut. Jacob Mintzer, MD, MBA, professor of health science, Medical University of South Carolina, knows about these challenges firsthand. He sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss this incredible need for therapies and the difficulties in treating these patients, who are elderly and often highly comorbid.
Mintzer shared his insight on the current state of care for those individuals who live in long-term care facilities, as well as offered his perspective on the patient experience with dementia and the complexities of trying to get them the proper care they require on a daily basis, particularly due to the come-and-go nature of the symptoms.