This article will explore in further detail the possible available treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease treatment
Currently, there is no proven, permanent cure for Alzheimer’s disease. There are, however, medications, natural remedies and cognitive therapy modalities that contribute to slowing down the symptoms of the disease.
There is a lot of scientific research and evidence from the past decades that helps us better understand the workings of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain, as well as how a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition and certain natural supplements can help in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and support the brain self-healing mechanisms when the disease has already manifested.
Current available Azheimer’s treatment is divided into three groups: medications, natural remedies and cognitive therapy.
Alzheimer’s disease medication
The available, FDA-approved medications that are currently in use for Alzheimer’s patients are not stopping the disease from spreading, but may temporarily help ease some of the symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion.
The two most common medications that are prescribed for people suffering from Alzheimer’s are called Memantine (also called Namenda®) and cholinesterase inhibitors (Aricept®, Exelon®, Razadyne®).
These medications help for a limited amount of time, by affecting chemicals in the brain that are responsible for communication between the brain nerve cells.
The Cholinesterase inhibitors medications (Donepezil, Razadyne, Exelon) help to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s related to thinking abilities, short-term memory, and language.
These medications prevent a chemical called acetylcholine from breaking down. This chemical is responsible for supporting healthy communication between nerve cells and by keeping the acetylcholine levels in the brain high, the medication improves brain functioning temporarily.
The Cholinesterase inhibitors are usually prescribed for patients suffering from mild to moderate symptoms, and they slow down the progress of the disease.
Side effects may include loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
Memantine is prescribed in cases of moderate to severe symptoms, and can improve the patient’s memory, attention, language and reasoning skills. Sometimes it is being combined with cholinesterase inhibitors as well.
The Memantine affects the activity of a brain chemical called glutamate, which is involved in brain processes of memory creation and retrieval. It improves one’s mental abilities and short term memory.
Side effects include headaches, dizziness, constipation and confusion.
There have been many scientific studies performed in the past decades that support the effectiveness of traditional, natural remedies to treat Alzheimer’s disease and improve brain health and functioning.
Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus)
Lion’s mane is a mushroom that contains the active ingredient Hericium erinaceus. Hericium contains extensive bioactive metabolites, including polysaccharides, terpenoids, sterols, and micronutrients.
These bioactive metabolites stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) – which means they support the brain in creating new cells. They also support anti-inflammation in the brain and have neuroprotective qualities.
Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
The amazon rainforest plant uncaria tomentosa is another promising natural remedy in the field of Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.
The main root cause of Alzheimer’s is the formation of protein deposits called beta-amyloid protein plaques, and tau protein tangles in the brain.
Uncaria tomentosa has demonstrated the ability to prevent these protein structures from forming, and also helps to disentangle them when they are already present in the brain.
Another approach that is being used to treat Alzheimer patients is cognitive therapy.
Cognitive therapy is a way of stimulating the brain to regrow cells by using thinking games, questions, riddles, and so on. It is done by a professional practitioner who works together with the patient.
The success of this kind of therapy depends a lot on the motivation and cooperation levels of the patients, as well as the severity of their symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease cure
There is still no one proven cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
However, there is hope. New researches are being conducted every year and the field of neuroplasticity is growing rapidly. Alzheimer’s is a complex disease that has many factors contributing to its development and pace.
The more we learn, the more we understand its complexities and the more it becomes clear that the patient’s proactivity is necessary. Taking medication passively can also provide temporary relief.
How to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
There is no way to completely prevent the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as there are so many factors involved in the creation and development of the disease.
Some of these factors, like genetics, are beyond one’s control, yet many of them are in your control.
The most important thing you can do is educate yourself as much as possible, and focus on the factors that you can control:
- Healthy lifestyle: eat healthy, perform physical activity on a daily basis
- High quality brain supplements: support your brain nutrition by using high-quality, proven natural ingredients
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs
- Brain workout – keep your brain in good shape by solving riddles, mathematical problems, chess or any other activity that stimulates concentration and focus