Challenges To Finding A Cure
The path towards a cure is not going to be easy, and even if these theories do lead to the development of drugs, these drugs may fail for a host of other reasons.
Alzheimers is a very long, chronic disease, probably present 20 to 30 years before the first symptoms become obvious. Giving the drug when a person becomes symptomatic may be too late for it to make any difference. But we do not have the ability to diagnose it 30 years before the first symptoms, and even if we could, we would need to consider the ethics of giving a potentially toxic drug long-term to someone who may or may not get a disease in three decades.
Also, unlike developing antibiotics in which the researchers know within days if the drug works, the chronic nature of Alzheimers requires long, expensive trials years in duration before an answer can be attained. Such time and expense is a further impediment to drug development.
One final problem is that Alzheimers may not simply be one disease. It may in fact be a collection of similar diseases. A 52-year-old with early onset Alzheimers certainly has a clinical course distinct and different from an 82-year-old with late onset Alzheimers. Will a drug that works in an 82-year-old also work in a 52-year-old persons disease? Maybe, or maybe not.
Identifying Who’s At Risk Of Dementia
Experts know that damage to the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease can start many years before symptoms appear. If people at risk of Alzheimer’s could be identified at an early stage, it is hoped that treatments could be offered that would slow down or even stop the disease.
A major study, called PREVENT, concentrates on people in their 40s and 50s to identify those who are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s . It aims to understand what is happening in their brains before symptoms appear.
Specialised brain scans, known as PET scans, have been developed to study two proteins in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. The aim is to increase the understanding of the disease process, and also to identify those people who will benefit most from new drug treatments.
Although PET scans are sometimes used to help with a dementia diagnosis, these highly specialised scans are usually only available as part of clinical trials.
A number of different trials are now under way in people who are currently well but are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
When Are Medicines For Dementia Usually Prescribed
Your GP will usually refer you to a doctor who specialises in treating dementia, to confirm that you have dementia. The specialist will then decide if you should have treatment. This decision to start treatment and which treatment to start depends on various things. These include what has caused your dementia, what your symptoms are and how severe your dementia is. Dementia is usually classed as being mild, moderate or severe. See also the separate leaflet called Memory Loss and Dementia.
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Lifestyle Changes For Vascular Health
Research suggests that there is a connection between the risk of developing dementia and the health of your heart and blood vessels. Taking steps to improve vascular health can lower the risk of developing dementia, and vice versa.
Whats good for the heart is good for the mind, Hashmi says. As such, he encourages dementia patients to adopt healthy lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, establishing a daily exercise routine, and choosing foods from a heart-healthy diet plan like the Mediterranean diet.
Can Dementia Be Prevented
Although dementia cannot be prevented, living a health-focused life might influence risk factors for certain types of dementia. Keeping blood vessels clear of cholesterol buildup, maintaining normal blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, staying at a healthy weight basically, staying as healthy as one can can keep the brain fueled with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function at its highest possible level. Specific healthful steps you can take include:
- Follow a Mediterranean diet, which is one filled with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish and shellfish, nuts, beans, olive oil and only limited amounts of red meats.
- Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
- Keep your brain engaged. Solve puzzles, play word games, and try other mentally stimulating activities. These activities may delay the start of dementia.
- Stay socially active. Interact with people discuss current events keep your mind, heart, and soul engaged.
Who Are These Medications For And What Are The Benefits
These medications are prescribed for people with mild to moderate Alzheimers disease. Studies show that between 40 70% of people taking the drugs benefit from them with symptoms improving temporarily for between 6-12 months.
The impact of taking cholinesterase inhibitor medications can include: reduced anxiety, improvements in memory and concentration daily activities such as personal care, dressing and shopping.
Trials to determine if these drugs also bring benefits for behavioural changes such as agitation or aggression are inconclusive, with mixed results. Unfortunately the impact of these medications gradually reduces with symptoms then gradually worsening.
Support And Care Is The Most Important Part Of Treatment
When someone is diagnosed with dementia, a full assessment may be suggested to look at their practical skills, their ability to look after themself, their safety in their home, etc. This usually involves assessment by a number of different healthcare professionals. An individual care plan may be drawn up that outlines the person’s specific needs. The aim is to maintain the independence of someone with dementia as much as possible and for as long as possible.
Most people with dementia are cared for in the community. Often, the main carer is a family member. It is important that carers get the full support and advice which is locally available. Support and advice may be needed from one or more of the following healthcare and allied professionals, depending on the severity of the dementia and the individual circumstances:
The level of care and support needed often changes over time. For example, some people with mild dementia can cope well in their own home which is very familiar to them. Some may live with a family member who does most of the caring. If things become worse, a place in a residential or nursing home may be best. The situation can be reviewed from time to time to make sure the appropriate levels of care and support are provided.
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Types Of Medication For Difficult Behaviors In Dementia
Most medications used to treat difficult behaviors fall into one of the following categories:
1.Antipsychotics. These are medications originally developed to treat schizophrenia and other illnesses featuring psychosis symptoms.
Commonly used drugs: Antipsychotics often used in older adults include:
- For a longer list of antipsychotics drugs, see this NIH page.
Usual effects: Most antipsychotics are sedating, and will calm agitation or aggression through these sedating effects. Antipsychotics may also reduce true psychosis symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, or paranoid beliefs, but its rare for them to completely correct these in people with dementia.
Risks of use: The risks of antipsychotics are related to how high the dose is, and include:
- Increased risk of falls
- Increased risk of stroke and of death this has been estimated as an increased absolute risk of 1-4%
- A risk of side-effects known as extrapyramidal symptoms, which include stiffness and tremor similar to Parkinsons disease, as well as a variety of other muscle coordination problems
- People with Lewy-body dementia or a history of Parkinsonism may be especially sensitive to antipsychotic side-effects in such people, quetiapine is considered the safest choice
2. Benzodiazepines. This is a category of medication that relaxes people fairly quickly. So these drugs are used for anxiety, for panic attacks, for sedation, and to treat insomnia. They can easily become habit-forming.
How Is Dementia Diagnosed
To diagnosis dementia, testing is performed by doctors. While in-office screening assessments are sometimes enough to confirm a diagnosis, at other times a more in-depth evaluation is required. Blood testing and imaging studies are often completed to confirm that reversible conditions such as thyroid disease or certain vitamin deficiencies are not present.
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Other Less Targeted Dementia Medications
There are several types of dementia, and each person will be affected differently by their specific disease as well as the side effects that might be present. While not designed with the intention to treat dementia, many medications are available that treat the often-debilitating effects of dementia. There are many symptoms associated with dementia, as well as associated with the medications taken to stall the progression of dementia, such as pain, nausea, insomnia, or general fatigue.
Its important to go over every possible side effect of medications you are considering taking, and carefully weighing the risks versus the benefits of using that drug. While it may seem like a juggling act, the good news is that there is a wealth of options available to treat any symptoms of dementia or medication-related side effect, so no matter your unique body chemistry, your doctor will be able to help you figure out the best way to improve your overall quality of life while living with dementia.
The Right Type Of Cinnamon
Make sure you only ever use cinnamon extract or cinnamonbark extract that come from Ceylon . Do not butcheap cinnamon such as cassia or any products that contain this type ofcinnamon. It wont work anywhere near as well!! You can find some reputablebrands here if youre interested
Take a heaped teaspoon of cinnamon powder 3 times dailywith or without meals and use it in your cooking as much as possible. You canalso make up a delicious cinnamon and ginger tea for an extra supply if youwish . With the capsules, a total of 3grams daily will be required for best results.
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Who Is The Drug For And What Are The Benefits
The NICE guidance recommends use of Memantine for people with severe Alzheimers disease, and for those with moderate Alzheimers who may suffer significant side effects from cholinesterase inhibitor drugs.
For those in the middle and later stages of the disease it can slow down the progression of symptoms such as disorientation, as well as difficulties with daily activities .
There is some evidence that memantine may also help with symptoms such as aggression and delusion.
The Top Five Dementia Medications For Seniors
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Dementia is a common disease seen in older adults, affecting over 50 million people around the world, according to the World Health Organization . But, it is not a normal part of aging. Examples of typical memory loss experienced by people of all ages include occasionally forgetting but later remembering events, names, and phone numbers. When memory loss becomes disruptive to your daily life, it might be time to see your medical team about your cognitive health and discuss possible medications to help combat the symptoms of dementia, as well as check for physical signs of Alzheimers disease and related dementias.
Through careful research, we have created this guide to educate you on Alzheimers disease and related dementias, the top dementia medications as well as less-targeted dementia medications that can be useful in treating symptoms, and alternative options you might want to discuss with you or your loved ones doctor.
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Medication For Other Forms Of Dementia
Unfortunately the medications for other forms of Dementia are minimal. Cholinesterase inhibitors may be offered to patients with dementia with Lewy bodies or Parkinsons disease dementia if they have particular symptoms such as hallucinations or challenging agitation or aggression. There are no firm scientific conclusions as to the efficacy of Memantine for either of these forms of dementia.
Other Treatments available:
Natural Remedies For Dementia
Dementia is the umbrella term for a number of diseases that affect the brain. The diseases are named based on the area of the brain that they damage or the symptoms that the damage causes. There different types of dementia such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons diseases, vascular dementia and Lewy body.
There are four essential factors that lead to dementia. These include vitamin B12 deficiency, neurosyphillis, hypothyroidism and Lyme disease. Other reasons include genetics and old age. Not all old people are supposed to have dementia as a matter of fact 9 out of 10 senior people will be okay until the age of 90.
Dementia is not a result of aging, but develops due to damages in our brain. These damages ca have significant impact on our personality, physical movements and the ability to perform basic tasks. The treatment basically depends on the cause of the disease. Sometimes it is caused due to deficiencies or a poisoning of some sort, at others it is because of an accident. Symptoms that can be reversed are dealt through medication and some natural remedies. Here are 11 ways you can naturally deal with dementia:
Best Sources Of B Group Vitamins Vitamin D And Vitamine
For vitamin B12, a sublingual spray containingmethylcobalamin is the absolute best and most absorbable way to get your dailydose . Heres what one lookslike B12 Sublingual Spray. For the other B group vitamins , a good quality B complex supplement will suffice.
For your vitamin D, there are two ways. Firstly, get outin the sun! 20-40 minutes of regular sun exposure a day is still the best way to receive the vitamin D your body needs. Themost important areas of exposure are the face and back of the hands. Inaddition to this, and especially if you live in cold climates, supplementationwith vitamin D3 is crucial. Best sources arevitamin D3 supplements and cod liver oil. Just remember too, our bodys needlots of vitamin D so dont be afraid of overdosing on this vital nutrient.
For vitamin E, the best source is without a doubtunprocessed red palm oil. The benefit of red palm oil is not only is itincredibly high in the eight different forms of molecules categorized as vitaminE , its also high in thehealthy ketone fats all dementia sufferers need. And in addition, red palm oil helps with blood circulation, along withproviding powerful neuroprotection just for good measure!
Even Dr Oz says red palm oil is a miracle oil forlongevity so start getting some into you or your loved one as soon as you can.
Natural Remedies For Dementia And Alzheimers Treatment Option #: Cholesterol
For years now weve been told that cholesterol is bad forus and if we eat too much well end up dropping dead of a heart attack.
Wellthis information is totally false!
And thankfully, the truth on this one isfinally coming out. So many articles are finally relaying the real facts, that eatingcholesterol containing foods doesnt cause heart disease and that cholesterol actually helps to preventand treat dementia and Alzheimers!
Think about this your brain by weight is 75% purecholesterol. And the insulating material that surrounds your brain is actually100% pure cholesterol. Without enough cholesterol, this insulation begins toshrink, which also causes your brain to shrink!
Remember what I said about minerals and the brains electricalcircuit board? You can ask any qualified electrician about this if you dontinsulate electrical wires or currents then the electricity is basically free tojump wherever it pleases . Well, your brain is exactly thesame. Without enough insulation your brains electrical currents arent going to hit their mark, so to speak. The result? Neurologicalproblems and diseases such as Alzheimers. This is another reason whycholesterol lowering drugs are so dangerous and are actually one of the causesof Alzheimers disease!
Heres what neurology specialist, Dr NatashaCampbell-McBride, has to say about this
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Treatment For Moderate To Severe Alzheimers
A medication known as memantine, an N-methyl D-aspartate antagonist, is prescribed to treat moderate to severe Alzheimers disease. This drugs main effect is to decrease symptoms, which could enable some people to maintain certain daily functions a little longer than they would without the medication. For example, memantine may help a person in the later stages of the disease maintain his or her ability to use the bathroom independently for several more months, a benefit for both the person with Alzheimer’s and caregivers.
Memantine is believed to work by regulating glutamate, an important brain chemical. When produced in excessive amounts, glutamate may lead to brain cell death. Because NMDA antagonists work differently from cholinesterase inhibitors, the two types of drugs can be prescribed in combination.
The FDA has also approved donepezil, the rivastigmine patch, and a combination medication of memantine and donepezil for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimers.
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