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Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease

Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease:

There are currently no treatments that can cure or stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The care of people with Alzheimer's disease is aimed at minimizing symptoms and maximizing independence and the quality of life as much as possible.

There are some medications that may help to manage some symptoms, and there are many clinical trials taking place to research a variety of potential treatments. Medications may include drugs that can help with cognitive symptoms, such as memory, language and judgement. These medications include memantine (Namenda) and cholinesterase inhibitors, such as Aricept, Exelon, and Razadyne.

In some cases, medications may be used to treat behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. These medications may include antidepressants and antipsychotics.

It is important for caretakers to remember that a person with Alzheimer's disease has difficulty learning and understanding new situations. Because of this it is best to simplifying tasks to make completing daily tasks as feasible and safe as possible. It is also important to keep regular routines for a person with Alzheimer's disease and manage the environment so that it stays a familiar as possible.

People with Alzheimer's disease eventually become completely disabled and require total care in order to meet daily needs, such as eating, dressing and hygiene. They also require constant supervision and security to prevent wandering and other safety issues. This generally requires the care of a skilled nursing facility.

Treatment List for Alzheimer's Disease

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Alzheimer's Disease includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

  • Mental stimulation
  • Tacrine (THA, Cognex)
  • Aricept (donepezil) - reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
  • Exelon (rivastigmine) - reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
  • Supportive care
  • Nursing homes
  • There is no known cure for Alzheimer's disease, but some medications may have benefit in preserving independence for a period of time, and prolonging the time that the patient can be managed at home. These include:
    • Anticholinesterases - Donezepil, Galantamine, Rivastigmine, Tacrine
    • NMDA antagonist - Memantine
  • Management of neuropsychiatric symptoms is also important. Both drug and non-drug therapies are used. Medications utilised include:
    • Antipsychotics - for agitation and psychosis
    • Mood stabilisers - Carbamazepine, valproate
    • Antidepressants - especially SSRI's
  • Vitamin E - there is debate over its usefulness but may be prescribed by some physicians
  • Non-drug therapy is important and forms the backbone of day to day patient management and includes:
    • A calm environment, and a calm approach by carers
    • Regular routine
    • Ongoing mental stimulation
    • Carer support
    • Dementia specific nursing home care

Alternative Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Alzheimer's Disease may include:

Alzheimer's Disease: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Alzheimer's Disease may include:

Alzheimer's Disease: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Alzheimer's Disease:

Curable Types of Alzheimer's Disease

Possibly curable types of Alzheimer's Disease may include:

Alzheimer's Disease: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Drugs and Medications used to treat Alzheimer's Disease:

Note:You must always seek professional medical advice about any prescription drug, OTC drug, medication, treatment or change in treatment plans.

Some of the different medications used in the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease include:

Unlabeled Drugs and Medications to treat Alzheimer's Disease:

Unlabelled alternative drug treatments for Alzheimer's Disease include:

Hospital statistics for Alzheimer's Disease:

These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Alzheimer's Disease:

  • 7,900 patients were hospitalised with Alzheimer’s as a primary diagnosis in the US 2000 (National Home and Hospice Care Survey, NCHS, CDC)
  • 7.5% of current hospitalised patients had Alzheimer’s as a primary diagnosis in the US 2000 (National Home and Hospice Care Survey, NCHS, CDC)
  • 0.12% (15,864) of hospital episodes were for Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 78% of hospital consultations for Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Alzheimer's Disease

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Alzheimer's Disease:

Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »

Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Alzheimer's Disease, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

Medical news summaries about treatments for Alzheimer's Disease:

The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Alzheimer's Disease:

Discussion of treatments for Alzheimer's Disease:

NINDS Alzheimer's Disease Information Page: NINDS (Excerpt)

There is no cure for AD and no way to slow the progression of the disease. For some people in the early or middle stages of the disease, medication such as tacrine may alleviate some cognitive symptoms. Aricept (donepezil) and Exelon (rivastigmine) are reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitors that are indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Also, some medications may help control behavioral symptoms such as sleeplessness, agitation, wandering, anxiety, and depression. These treatments are aimed at making the patient more comfortable. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Alzheimer's Disease Information Page: NINDS)

Aging -- Women Getting Older: NWHIC (Excerpt)

There is no cure for AD. Doctors may prescribe certain medication in an attempt to slow the progression of the disease. People with AD should go to their doctor regularly. The doctor will check to see how the disease is progressing and treat any other illnesses that occur. The doctor and other health professionals also can offer help and support to patients and their families. Currently, there is on-going research into preventing and curing Alzheimer’s Disease. (Source: excerpt from Aging -- Women Getting Older: NWHIC)

Alzheimer's Disease: NWHIC (Excerpt)

No treatment can stop AD. However, for some people in the early and middle stages of the disease, the drug tacrine (also known as THA or Cognex) may alleviate some cognitive symptoms. Also, some medications may help control behavioral symptoms of AD such as sleeplessness, agitation, wandering, anxiety, and depression. Treating these symptoms often makes patients more comfortable and makes their care easier for caregivers. (Source: excerpt from Alzheimer's Disease: NWHIC)

Forgetfulness It's Not Always What You Think -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)

For some people in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer's disease, the drug tacrine (also known as Cognex or THA) is prescribed to possibly delay the worsening of some of the disease's symptoms. (Source: excerpt from Forgetfulness It's Not Always What You Think -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

NIA's Progress Report on Alzheimer's Disease, 1998: NIA (Excerpt)

In 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved donepezil hydrochloride (Aricept) to help treat some mild to moderate symptoms in some AD patients and delay progression for from 6 to 12 months. Aricept (also known as epsilon2020) is the second drug approved by the FDA to treat AD. The first drug, tacrine (Cognex), has been marketed since 1993. AD is marked by the loss of neurons that produce acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter in cognitive functioning. Both Aricept and Cognex act by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that normally breaks down acetylcholine. However, neither drug stops nor reverses the progression of AD. Occasional side effects of Aricept include diarrhea and nausea. The drug also can cause an irregular heartbeat, especially in patients with heart conditions. Fainting spells have been reported in some patients. However, Aricept seems not to affect liver enzymes, an effect that prevented many patients from taking Cognex. Most researchers agree that neither Aricept nor Cognex works for all, or even most, AD patients so that the drugs' effects and duration of usefulness are limited. (Source: excerpt from NIA's Progress Report on Alzheimer's Disease, 1998: NIA)

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