How is Alzheimers treated?
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Of the many kinds of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most commonly found mental disorder in the elderly. Person’s aged over 65 have the most observed occurrence of the disease.
It is a mental disorder that is initially characterized by the gradual and significant loss of memory and progresses in its degradation to include the person’s ability to reason, make judgments, learn, communicate and comprehend.
The loss of mental functions caused by Alzheimer’s will prevent the patient to function properly and will require treatment and care until the end of their days.
Usually Alzheimer’s disease is complicated by delusions, delirium, and other signs of dementia. Physiologically, the appearance of Alzheimer’s is significant in people with diabetes, cardiac arrest and stroke, but even this mental disorder appears in people with no such medical history.
People who do not use their minds more often also have a high chance of developing Alzheimer’s in old age.
Biologically, under a microscope, genetic markers that show the possibility of Alzheimer’s in a patient is the loss of neurons with an marked inability or decreased ability to replenish the supply. This causes loss of memory.
Furthermore, there will be signs of amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangles present. Debate rages on regarding where Alzheimer’s disease takes root in a human being. Currently, two schools of thought have stood out in the field of this type of research among scientists.
First is the belief that an abnormality in the tau protein is the causes of imbalance. Second is the school that believes that the presence of amyloid deposits has something to do with Alzheimer’s.
Recent studies have found more evidence in favor of the amyloid deposit theory with the research showing that the inability to transport beta amyloids out of the brain causes plaque buildup, increasing the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. However, there is still no definite suspect on the cause of Alzheimer’s.
Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is still ongoing. There is no cure as of this writing. Various methods have been devised to slow down its progress though.
The following substances have been found to make a significant contribution to the disease’s regulation or the patient’s comfort.
1. Antioxidants. The presence of large amounts of free radicals in the body increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. Daily consumption of vitamins E and C together has shown to contribute to the disorder’s prevention.
Daily consumption must meet or exceed 400 IU of vitamin E and 500 IU of vitamin C. Anything less, or the vitamins are taken individually, makes it ineffective.
2. Sleep medication. Knowledge that one has Alzheimer’s usually creates conditions of stress and anxiety to patients. It is not uncommon for patients to react with extreme anger, anxiety, and worse worry, causing insomnia.
Psychiatrists would usually recommend that patients who get depressed or extremely worried at night ingest sleep medication for the good of the patient’s overall health.
3. Cholinesterase inhibitors. Patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have been known to have little of the chemical acetylcholine, which sends messages to the brain. This affects the patient’s memory and attention functions.
Cholinesterase inhibitors prevent the chemical acetylcholinesterase from breaking down what little acetylcholine is produced in the brain, improving the patient’s attention and memory levels.
4. Memantine. The chemical glutamate is a substance in the brain that acts on receptor cells called NMDA. Excessive stimulation of the NMDA receptors is bad for the general health of the brain.
The application of memantine blocks the receptors from receiving glutamate and has been successful with patients experiencing moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.
5. Antipsychotics. These substances help control the patient’s bouts of mania, anger, fear, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, etc. However, there have been observed side effects.
6. Antidepressants. These substances are recommended for patients experiencing the extreme lows of depression and despair. Side effects have also been observed.
Ultimately, the old adage of an ounce of prevention being better than a pound of cure is an advice worth more than its weight in gold.
Studies have shown that people with active mental and physical lifestyles have been found with a significantly less likelihood of Alzheimer’s.
Chess, crosswords, and dancing, among most activities studied, are recommended.
Prevention of heart diseases, stroke risk, abstinence from smoking, management of stress, the ability to cope with life, and living a balanced life is also recommended.
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