How Is Alzheimer's Disease Treated?
The truth is Alzheimer's disease can be treated by doctors however it can’t currently be cured. The current approach to treating Alzheimer's disease is to treat the associated symptoms and manage life during the progression of the disease.
There are several FDA approved medications that will treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Medication can make your loved ones happier and more confident in their daily lives. It may allow them to hold on to their dignity and independence longer.
But it’s important your loved one begins taking medications in the early or mid-stages of the disease for best results. The sooner the symptoms are slowed down, the better.
Depending on what stage of the disease your loved one is in they will require different medications. If they have mild to moderate Alzheimer's the doctor may prescribe a cholinesterase inhibitor such as Exelon (rivastigmine), and Aricept (donepezil).
These drugs are believed to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine. Which is a brain chemical important for memory and thinking. Medications will vary by patient; each medication will affect people differently. But Alzheimer's disease approved medications attempt to reduce symptoms and manage behavioral problems.
If your loved one has moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease the medication treatment may differ. The doctor may prescribe Namenda, which works primarily to reduce symptoms and allow them to perform daily activities for as long as possible. Namenda helps regulate the production of glutamate. Excessive glutamate can lead to brain cell death. But medications won't be enough to get your loved ones through this, they need you to show love and support. It’s important to show loved ones with dementia that you care.