Current Alzheimer’s medications can help for a time with memory symptoms and other cognitive changes. Two types of drugs are currently used to treat cognitive symptoms:
Alzheimer’s Disease Drugs
- Cholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs work by enhancing levels of a cell-to-cell interaction by offering a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) that is depleted in the brain by Alzheimer’s disease. The enhancement is modest. Cholinesterase inhibitors can improve neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as agitation or depression, as well.
Commonly prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors include donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Razadyne) and rivastigmine (Exelon). The main side effects of these drugs include diarrhea, queasiness, anorexia nervosa and sleep disruptions. In individuals with heart conduction conditions, serious side effects might include a slow heart rate and heart block.
- Memantine (Namenda). This drug works in another brain cell communication network and slows the progression of symptoms with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. It’s in some cases used in mix with a cholinesterase inhibitor. Side effects may include constipation, dizziness and headache.
Often other medications such as antidepressants are used to assist control the behavioral symptoms connected with Alzheimer’s disease. But some medications need to just be used with fantastic care. For example, some typical sleep medications– zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta) and others– might increase confusion and the risk of falls.
Anti-anxiety medications– clonazepam (Klonopin) and lorazepam (Ativan)– increase the risk of falls, confusion and dizziness. Always check with your doctor before taking any brand-new medications.
Creating a safe and helpful environment
Adapting the living scenario to the needs of a person with Alzheimer’s is a vital part of any treatment plan. For somebody with Alzheimer’s, developing and strengthening regular practices and minimizing memory-demanding jobs can make life much easier.
You can take these actions to support an individual’s sense of wellness and continued ability to function:
- Constantly keep keys, wallets, mobile phones and other prized possessions in the same place at home, so they don’t become lost.
- See if your doctor can streamline your medication regimen to once-daily dosing, and set up for your financial resources to be on automatic payment.
- Develop the practice of bring a mobile phone with location ability so that you can contact case you are lost or confused and people can track your location via the phone. Also, program crucial contact number into your phone, so you don’t have to try to recall them.
- Make certain routine visits are on the same day at the same time as much as possible.
- Use a calendar or whiteboard in the home to track day-to-day schedules. Develop the practice of checking off completed products so that you can be sure they were finished.
- Get rid of excess furnishings, clutter and throw rugs.
- Set up sturdy handrails on stairways and in restrooms.
- Ensure that shoes and slippers are comfortable and offer good traction.
- Reduce the number of mirrors. People with Alzheimer’s might find images in mirrors complicated or frightening.
Routine exercise is an important part of everybody’s health plan– and those with Alzheimer’s are no exception. Activities such as an everyday walk can help improve mood and maintain the health of joints, muscles and the heart.
Workout can also promote relaxing sleep and prevent constipation. Ensure that the person with Alzheimer’s brings identification or uses a medical alert bracelet if she or he strolls unaccompanied.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s who establish trouble walking might still be able to use a stationary bicycle or take part in chair exercises. You might be able to find workout programs tailored to older adults on TELEVISION or on DVDs.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s might forget to eat, lose interest in preparing meals or not eat a healthy combination of foods. They may likewise forget to drink enough, resulting in dehydration and constipation.
- High-calorie, healthy shakes and smoothies. You can supplement milkshakes with protein powders (offered at grocery stores, pharmacies) or use your mixer to make shakes featuring your preferred ingredients.
- Water, juice and other healthy beverages. Attempt to make sure that an individual with Alzheimer’s drinks a minimum of a number of full glasses of liquids every day. Prevent drinks with caffeine, which can increase uneasyness, interfere with sleep and set off a frequent need to urinate.
Particular nutritional supplements are marketed as “medical foods” specifically to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not authorize products marketed as medical foods. There’s no conclusive information revealing that any of these supplements is beneficial or safe.
Various herbal mixes, vitamins and other supplements are extensively promoted as preparations that might support cognitive health or prevent or postpone Alzheimer’s. Presently, there’s no strong proof that any of these therapies slow the progression of cognitive decline.
Some of the treatments that have been studied recently include:
- Curcumin. This herb originates from turmeric and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that might affect chemical procedures in the brain (don’t despair). So far, scientific trials have found no advantage for treating Alzheimer’s disease.
- Ginkgo. Ginkgo is a plant extract consisting of numerous substances. A big research study moneyed by the NIH discovered no effect in preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s disease.
- Vitamin E. Although vitamin E isn’t really efficient for avoiding Alzheimer’s, taking 2,000 international units daily may help postpone the development in individuals who already have the disease. Nevertheless, research study results have been blended, with just some revealing this advantage. Further research into the safety of 2,000 worldwide units daily of Vitamin E in a dementia population will be required prior to it can be consistently suggested.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish might help avoid cognitive decrease. Research studies done on fish oil supplements haven’t proven to any benefit, however.
Supplements promoted for cognitive health can connect with medications you’re considering Alzheimer’s disease or other health conditions. Work closely with your health care team to produce a treatment strategy that’s right for you. Ensure you understand the dangers and benefits of everything it includes.