Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment

By:    Published: July 21, 2011

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There are no known methods for preventing Alzheimer's disease at this time. However, scientists have described some practices that may be helpful in reducing the risk for Alzheimer's:

  • Eat a low-fat diet with plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, carotenoids, vitamin E and vitamin C
  • Reduce the intake of linoleic acid
  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure
  • Stay mentally and socially active

Additionally, some doctors may recommend taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, sulindac or indomethacin, as these may lower the risk of Alzheimer's. However, it's important to talk to your doctor before beginning a regimen of these medications.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. There are, however, several treatment options that may help slow the progression of the disease. Furthermore, these treatment options may also help manage behavior or sleeping problems and create a more conducive home environment. Patients may opt to pursue any combination of these treatment options depending on personal circumstances and the level of progression the disease has reached:

  • Drug treatments: Drugs for Alzheimer's are intended to help slow the rate at which symptoms of the disease worsen. These drugs include donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine and memantine. Side effects of these medications may include indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, muscle cramps and fatigue. The benefit of the drugs is often small, so patients should discuss their expectations with their doctor before using this treatment option.
  • Home environment changes: Alterations to the home environment are often a part of an individual's treatment plan for Alzheimer's. This may include removing excess clutter, installing sturdy handrails and providing shoes with good traction. In some cases, an in-home caregiver may be needed to help care for the individual.
  • Supplements: Some individuals take supplements in order to help slow the development of Alzheimer's. These supplements may include folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin E. Keep in mind that further studies are needed to show conclusively that these supplements can have the intended effects when it comes to slowing the progression of Alzheimer's.

It's also helpful to ensure that people with Alzheimer's are also receiving healthy meals and regular exercise, as these are important for any wellness plan. Always consult a doctor if you are thinking about making changes to an Alzheimer's treatment plan.

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