As COVID-19 treatments and vaccines have dominated the healthcare industry over the last year and a half, it might seem that other advancements have taken a backseat. New classes of medications, gene therapies, and other innovations have continued to evolve, however. As 2022 approaches, healthcare professionals and scientists are armed with some of the most powerful and advanced medical treatments in history.

Scientists and doctors have changed history and treatments with medical advancements from the smallpox vaccine and penicillin to the creation of the MRI and the first heart transplant. The early doctors and scientists of those days made medical history and changed the world. Today, however, medicine has advanced well beyond the capabilities that were even considered by early pioneers. While no one can predict the future, many scientists and doctors feel as though they are on the cusp of life-changing breakthroughs. Let’s take a look at some of the innovations in healthcare.

Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and memory loss. It is a progressive disorder of the brain that starts with mild memory loss and develops into eventual loss of the ability to carry on conversations and respond to the environment. Alzheimer’s disease impacts the areas of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. Advanced stages of the disease render patients unable to carry out daily activities or interact with others. It is estimated that as many as 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.

As such a debilitating and widespread disease, a significant amount of time and money has been poured into researching and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. Many new drugs and treatments have evolved recently to help in the fight against memory loss and dementia resulting from Alzheimer’s disease. Today, studies and clinical trials continue to reduce risk factors by looking at causes such as plaques, tau protein tangles, and inflammation. In 2021, a medication targeting the underlying biology of Alzheimer’s disease was approved by the FDA.

Natural Treatments

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Many doctors and other healthcare providers now better understand the impacts of holistic and natural treatments for many ailments. Today there are natural treatments for everything from heart disease and cognitive decline to prostate cancer and urinary issues. Treating the disease process for any ailment usually involves a multi-faceted approach. In conjunction with healthcare providers, many people take natural supplements as a part of their treatment regime. Prostate 911 by Phytage Labs, for example, combines pygeum, UVA Ursi, pumpkin seed, and nettle root to help ease prostate symptoms. Dietary supplements are gaining traction and becoming a part of many healthcare plans.

Gene Therapy

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Researchers and scientists specializing in genetic diseases have been trying to target illnesses at the genetic level. The idea is that if you can impact the genes of cancer cells and other diseases, they can be stopped and neutralized. If successful, everything from blood conditions and spinal diseases to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease can be treated.

Throughout the world, the scientific and medical communities have focused on gene therapy as a way to stop the disease. In 2020 the FDA finalized six gene therapy guidelines for the research and clinical trial development of gene therapies. Additionally, a 4-day-old newborn received gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy, making her the youngest gene therapy patient in history.

Medical advancements and innovations are part of cutting-edge technology and science. From vaccines and immune therapy to genetic treatments, the healthcare industry can now treat and cure individuals of things that they would have died from 10 years ago. Today healthcare professionals, researchers, and government agencies are working together to find answers to long-asked questions and cure diseases that plague humanity.