June Blogger Series: Treatments for Alzheimer's

By June 14, 2013Dementia

 

As we continue on our June Blogger series, today we will take look at some of the treatments for Alzheimer’s available today.  Currently, there are no known cures for Alzheimer’s but there are a number of medications that help seniors live comfortably.  We will look into the number of medications that will help with memory loss and help improve cognitive functions.

 

Below are a list of medications that will help memory loss in each stage of Alzheimer’s.  All of these medication fall into a class called  Cholinesterase inhibitors. These type of medications are prescribed to treat symptoms related to memory, thinking, language, judgment and other thought processes. This class of medications help delay worsening of symptoms for 6 to 12 months, on average, for about half the people who take them. They are commonly well tolerated by patients who taken them, having common sides effects like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and increased frequency of bowel movements.

 

  • Donepezil (Aricept) is approved to treat all stages of Alzheimer’s.
  • Rivastigmine (Exelon) is approved to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.
  • Galantamine (Razadyne) is approved to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s
 In moderate to severe cases of Alzheimer’s,  Memantine is prescribed to improve memory, attention, reason, language and the ability to perform simple tasks. It can be used alone or with other Alzheimer’s disease treatments. There is some evidence that individuals with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s who are taking a cholinesterase inhibitor might benefit by also taking memantine. It’s side effects may include  headache, constipation, confusion and dizziness.
As the diease progresses, cognitive functions will worsen.  While the above medication cannot stop the damage Alzheimer’s causes to the brain, they may help lessen or stabilize the symptoms for a short period of time by by affecting certain chemicals involved in carrying messages among the brain’s nerve cells

What experience have you had with Alzheimer’s medications? Tell us below in the comments section!

Citation: Alzheimer’s Association

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