Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 22 March 2021
Alzheimer’s Symptoms: Therapies That Can Help
Alzheimer’s syndrome actually has no treatment. Researchers are currently trying to find out how the disorder causes memory decline and other cognitive and behavioural issues. They hope to reverse these changes in the future in order to avoid or stop the disease.
However, whether you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, there are treatments that can help. Some treatments help patients feel better for longer by reducing symptoms. Since the disease’s symptoms evolve with time, patients often need their medications changed by their doctors, or they must begin new ones if new issues arise.
Memory loss, behavioural changes, sleeping problems, and other Alzheimer’s symptoms can all be managed with various medications. They don’t cure the condition, but they will avoid the symptoms from worsening for months or even years. Both of these may have harmful side effects, which are more common among the elderly.
Depending on a person’s symptoms, doctors can prescribe one or more of the following medications:
- Some medications are used to combat mood disorders, depression, and irritability. Citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline are among them (Zoloft).
- Alprazolam (Niravam, Xanax), buspirone (BuSpar), lorazepam (Ativan), and oxazepam are some of the drugs that can assist with anxiety and restlessness (Serax).
- To relieve confusion, aggression, agitation, or hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or experiencing things that aren’t there), doctors can prescribe medications. Aripiprazole (Abilify), brexiprazole (Rexulti), haloperidol (Haldol), and olanzapine are some of the medications available (Zyprexa). It’s worth noting that some of these “antipsychotic medications" have been attributed to an increased rate of mortality of dementia patients. These medications have a “black box" alert from the FDA that describes these issues. They can, however, be helpful to a wide range of individuals.
Many people have looked at alternatives to medicine for treating Alzheimer’s disorder and its effects. The science about why they function is inconclusive.
Vitamin E: This antioxidant was once assumed to shield nerve cells from injury. However, since there is no proof that it functions, many physicians no longer prescribe it for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Women who take oestrogen replacement medication during menopause were once believed to have a reduced chance of Alzheimer’s disease, according to reports. Estrogen, a female hormone, was believed to help nerve cells interact with one another and prevent plaques from forming within brain cells. However, more recent research has shown that HRT is inefficient, and one study also found that oestrogen usage may increase rather than reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. HRT can also raise the likelihood of cardiac disease, stroke, and breast cancer.
Art and music therapy: According to some studies, these therapies that activate the senses may help people with Alzheimer’s disease enhance their mood, behaviour, and day-to-day functionality. Art and music will help people reconnect with their environments and activate memories.
Supplements: To avoid or cure Alzheimer’s disease, several people have sought alternative treatments such as coenzyme Q10, coral calcium, huperzine A, and omega-3 fatty acids. There isn’t enough evidence to say whether they work or not.
Supplements are not controlled by the FDA in the same manner as medications are, and supplement makers are not forced to prove that their goods are healthy or successful before distributing them. Some drugs may often have adverse side effects or hinder other medicines from functioning properly. Always consult the doctor before beginning to use one.
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