Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease that damages the brain over time and is associated with memory loss. The result of the memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating, making it difficult to function for those individuals who have it. Alzheimer’s disease can develop as early as 30 and any time in late 60s, 70s and on. When Alzheimer’s disease is detected, whether early on or later in life, the effects are the same and they are progressive in nature. Someone who has Alzheimer’s disease will slowly or rapidly, depending on the individual, partial to all of their mental and cognitive abilities. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease but there are treatment options for this disease. Those who have developed Alzheimer’s disease have several options for treatment listed below. The treatment that is offered to Alzheimer’s disease patients has been developed to help them cope with the degenerative effects of the disease on their brain and cognitive functions in their daily life. The treatment available is not a cure, however.
- Cholinesterase inhibitors- This type of treatment is standard when dealing with Alzheimer’s disease patients. The idea of this drug is to increase levels of a chemical called acetylcholine which helps humans with memory development and enables them to learn new things. The effects of Alzheimer’s disease decrease this chemical making it difficult for patients to learn new things or retain any of their previous memories. Depending on the extent of the brain damage and when the disease is detected, a doctor will prescribe different levels of this drug or similar drugs, such as Donepezil, Rivastigmine, and Galantamine. All of these are used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
-Memantine-This is a similar treatment to the inhibitors, because it also works to increase another chemical in the brain that is associated with memory function and learning ability. This drug has been likened to the Cholinesterase inhibitors, and it has a similar effect on the Alzheimer’s disease patients.
Another treatment that is sometimes used, depending on the individual patient is the use of antioxidants, such as Vitamin E. Vitamin E can work to protect nerve cells which in turn, should improve function and prevent further damage, at least for a short time. In addition to this treatment, there is another possible treatment that is not as reliable. As a another option for treatment, patients can turn to alternative medicine and supplements. This type of treatment is not for everyone and sometimes the ingredients in the supplemental products will interfere with the prescription drugs that doctors have already prescribed to patients as treatment.
Again there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are several treatment options available to patients suffering through this degenerative disease. As technology advances more and more drugs are developed in an attempt to manage and diminish the side affects of this disease and hopefully in the near future a cure will be created. For now, patients with this disease can turn to the treatment that is currently available to help cope with their symptoms.