Best Alzheimer's Treatment

Best Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease


Alzheimer’s is one of the most common, destructive, and enigmatic diseases in the world today. It affects millions of people in the United States and abroad, but scientists still have only a poor understanding of how the disease works and what can be done to stop it. For Alzheimer’s patients and their families, however, three types of Alzheimer’s treatments offer some hope of slowing down the disease.




Cholinesterase Inhibitors


One of the most popular and influential classes of Alzheimer’s drugs is a group of chemicals called cholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs work by helping to boost the availability of acetylcholine, a chemical the brain uses to stay alert, make decisions, and retrieve memories.

Alzheimer’s reduces the availability of acetylcholine, impairing brain function. Cholinesterase-inhibiting drugs like donepezil and rivastigmine work by preventing the brain from breaking down acetylcholine. This leaves the brain with more of the important chemical available to keep things running smoothly.

Unfortunately, cholinesterase inhibitors aren’t a cure, and they don’t treat the disease itself. They reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, much like taking a pain killer might make a broken arm feel better but won’t help heal the bone. That said, this class of drugs can help slow the progression of the disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.



Memantine and Vitamin E


Doctors often prescribe a different drug called memantine for Alzheimer’s patients with more advanced cases. The drug works by restricting production of another brain chemical called glutamate. In proper concentrations, glutamate helps the brain to function by allowing neurons to communicate with each other. Alzheimer’s can increase the concentration of glutamate to dangerous levels, however, killing brain cells. Memantine helps to counteract that problem.

JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that a combination of vitamin E and memantine slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in patients with a moderate to severe form of the illness. However, those with moderate Alzheimer’s responded better to vitamin E alone. Neither memantine alone, or taken in combination with vitamin E slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s in its moderate form.

Like cholinesterase inhibitors, however, memantine cannot treat the underlying disease. It can only hope to reduce the acceleration of the disease and help patients to retain more brain function for a few extra months or years.

Additionally, memantine is not effective for mild or early-stage Alzheimer’s, according to the National Institute on Aging. Doctors typically prescribe the drug only for moderate and severe cases.


Other Therapies


Although drugs have proved only marginally effective in the battle against Alzheimer’s, some other healthy practices may reduce the risk of developing the disease and slow its progression. Specifically, several studies show that mental and physical exercise can reduce Alzheimer’s risk in many people.

A recent survey published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience provided some of the strongest evidence that physical exercise can reduce the possibility of the disease. Alzheimer’s is strongly associated with the shrinking of the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for memory formation. Scientists scanned the brains of dozens of seniors at risk of Alzheimer’s over a period of several months. The results indicated that those who exercised regularly suffered less shrinkage of the hippocampus, suggesting a stronger defense against the disease.

Mental exercise may be even more important than physical exercise, according to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. They report that regular mental activity like memory games, crossword puzzles, and practicing foreign languages can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 70 percent. Scientists aren’t sure why mental aerobics work so well, but they recommend it for all aging people.


Alzheimer’s Treatments – Conclusion


Doctors believe that the best Alzheimer’s treatments begin early. Taking a high enough dosage is also a factor in how effective the medicine is for seniors.




How Alzheimer’s Affects Caregivers Health

When it comes down to caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, we usually talk about how Alzheimer’s and Dementia affects residents mind and weakens their bodies. Although, this is true, we often forget how Alzheimer’s affects caregivers health and loved ones, as well.
How Alzheimer’s Affects Caregiver Health
Every day, there are a multitude of challenges that face caregivers. They have to stay ahead of seniors’ health, and they also need to adapt to the ongoing levels of behavior. All of these difficulties that they face can cause them to be susceptible to illnesses, such as depression.

The daily tasks of feeding, bathing, preparing medicine, and dressing and grooming make being a caregiver a full-time job, and can affect caregiver health if the caregiver’s condition is not monitored.


Five Ways Alzheimer’s Affects Caregivers Health


Depression – Depression is the most prevalent way that Alzheimer’s affects caregivers health. The daily grind of watching a loved one’s mental and physical conditions worsen is enough to cause depression. Depression is found in up to 70% of all caregivers.

Stress – The constant demand of taking care of your loved one can produce stress. Stress can cause immediate health problems in the form of hypertension, and can also eventually lead to heart conditions, and even a stroke.

Insomnia – Insomnia and a change in sleep patterns are another symptom of how Alzheimer’s can affect a caregivers health. Even if the person you are caring for sleeps well in the night, it’s possible that you might worry about their condition and always feel the need to check on them. The lack of sleep can create many different health conditions.

Burnout – One health condition that can affect a caregiver’s mental and physical health is burnout. When a person feels burnout, they can lack enthusiasm and eventually decide that they cannot take care of the care recipient any longer.

Unhealthy Eating Habits – Alzheimer’s caregivers often neglect their own health through unhealthy eating habits. Instead of taking the time to fuel their bodies, they tend to eat fast food or eat snacks that have less nutrition, and their bodies pay the price.


How Alzheimer’s Caregivers Can Protect Their Health

Here are some suggestions that caregivers should follow to maintain vigorous health:

  • Share the Load – Alzheimer’s disease can often turn care giving into a full-time job. It is impossible for one person to do the work alone. Try to find another family member, friend, or even hire professionals to help you with some of the daily tasks before conditions become overwhelming.
  • Use Free Time Wisely – Use your free time to eat nutritious meals, exercise, and get enough sleep. Remember, if you don’t stay healthy, it’s impossible for you to help a care recipient.
  • Hire Professionals – There might come a day when you will require full-time professional help for your loved one. Applewood Our House understands the care required for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Our residents receive around-the-clock assistance and allow family members to return to as normal of a life as possible.   Family members can then use their free time to provide as much quality time as possible for their loved ones.


How Alzheimer’s Affects Caregiver Health – Conclusion

Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease is a marathon and not a sprint. It can weaken the strongest caregiver, and you need to plan your tasks and activities wisely.

If you are in the Golden, Arvada, or Lakewood, Colorado areas, find out how Applewood Our House can assist with Alzheimer’s disease. Whatever you do, look after your health as much as you look after the care recipient’s health.