Thursday, August 21, 2008

Alzheimer : treatment or potential prevention

Eating 4Image by sheilaz413 via Flickr The risk of developing this degenerative brain disorder steadily increases with age. It significantly impairs only three percent of the population at age 65, but affects nearly half the population by age 85.

Sadly, current therapies cannot halt or prevent Alzheimer's though some can slow its progression. Therapies considered for treatment or potential prevention include the following:

  • A wide array of medications is used to handle depression, anxiety and severe agitation or psychotic behavior in Alzheimer's patients.
  • Ginkgo Biloba, a Chinese herbal remedy that has anti oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginkgo raises the risk of bleeding problems, especially when combined with other drugs and supplements that affect clotting, such as heart medications, aspirin and substantial does of vitamin E.
  • Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which have shown promise in preventing Alzheimer.
  • Estrogen replacement therapy has so far proven disappointing for treatment. But it may prove to be more promising in preventing the disease.
  • Vitamin E, which may help slow the progress of symptoms when taken in doses raging from 400 IU to 1600 IU . Experts do not know the optimal amount to take and doses at the high end of that range can cause bleeding complications.
  • Selegiline (Eldepryl)), an anti oxidant first approved for treating Parkinson's disease that raises level of certain neurotransmitters and may retard symptom progression.
  • Tacrine (Cognex), Donepezil (Aricept), Galantamine (Reminyl) and Rivastigmine (Exelon), which aim to improve memory by boosting levels of acetylcholine


Gia said...

This is a very sad decease. My grandmother has dimensia, and its breaking my heart to see how she forgets stuff and how she reacts to people.

It's heart breaking. And whats frightning is that it is in the family.

What can I do to prevent this in the long run?

Anonymous said...

In our family, my mother and all of her sisters suffered from the disease. My mother has been declining from dementia since 1990. She is in a nursing home - has been for 11 years and knows not a soul. She does not make much eye contact, speak, nor understand words. All we can do is love her!

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