Alzheimer’s has a major impact on the life of the sick person and the family. Because the real cause of the disease has not yet been proven, it cannot yet be treated effectively. However, the number of Alzheimer’s cases is increasing sharply and it is therefore necessary to treat the disease properly. How can Alzheimer’s be treated and what therapies can be used to stimulate the patient’s brain?
- Alzheimer’s is a growing condition!
- Treatment methodology
- Other ways to treat Alzheimer’s
- Coffee as a stimulant for the brain
Alzheimer’s is a growing condition!
People are getting older because life expectancy is increasing. The number of people who can develop Alzheimer’s is therefore increasing and will be an increasing problem. Within fifty years, the number of people with Alzheimer’s will have multiplied – also as a result of the baby boom – so that one in 50 people may develop the disease. Today, there is no concrete cure for Alzheimer’s, so people with this disease will also progressively lose memory and function impaired. How is it treated?
Alzheimer’s is a complex disease. Researchers are still working to understand how the disease works and why it leads to memory loss along with other symptoms. How can Alzheimer’s changes be reversed or the disease stopped? These are important questions to which no satisfactory answers have yet been found. However, there are currently treatments available that can address the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and its progression. Although memory loss is the main symptom, many experience a wide range of other cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. To treat the disease, a number of therapies must be combined to address all problems. Because the signs and symptoms change over time, the treatment method must also be adapted to the patient’s condition.
Various types of medications are used to treat memory loss, behavioral changes, sleep problems and other symptoms related to Alzheimer’s. These medications will not stop the disease, but symptoms can be delayed for several months or even years. The following medications are commonly used:
- memantine regulates another chemical signal in the brain called glutamate. This neurotransmitter has a positive effect on the brain;
- inhibitors that suppress the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s. It works by preventing the breakdown of chemical signals in the brain. These are the acetylcholine elements in the brain important for learning, memory and attention.
reduce behavioral and psychiatric symptoms including hallucinations , irritation and sleep problems. This should include:
- anxiolytics to address anxiety and restlessness;
- antidepressants to treat depression, irritability and mood variations;
- anti-psychotic medications to reduce hallucinations, delusions, irritation and aggressiveness.
Other ways to treat Alzheimer’s
There are a number of non-drug therapies that also help the patient to deal with the symptoms of the disease.
This vitamin protects the cells in the nervous system. However, many doctors believe that vitamin E is not really effective and that it can be detrimental when combined with other medications, especially blood thinners.
Music and art therapy improve mood, behavior and daily functioning. By stimulating the senses, memories can be retrieved, allowing the Alzheimer’s patient to make better contact with the world around them.
Hormone replacement therapy
Some studies have suggested that postmenopausal women may benefit from hormone replacement therapy to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. The female hormone estrogen helps the production of nerve cell connections and reduces the production of beta-amyloid, a protein in the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s.
Eating plenty of fish, nuts and unsaturated fats (omega-3) in a diet can slow down the risk of accelerated deterioration of the disease.
Coffee as a stimulant for the brain
The latest development is a study in which the coffee consumption of Alzheimer’s patients was examined. It has been found that individuals with mild cognitive decline should drink three cups of coffee or more per day. This prevents an accelerated worsening of the disease. Coffee stimulates the brain and keeps you sharp throughout the day. This also applies to the Alzheimer’s patient. Please note that the patient was a standard coffee drinker because the build-up of beta-amyloid protein during life was limited.
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