There is no cure for Alzheimer’s but there are treatments that are being developed that might assist in handling behavioral and cognitive symptoms. Scientists are diligently working on ways to change and slow down the course of the disease that can improve the patients’ quality of life.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, two kinds of medications have been approved for distribution that helps with the cognitive symptoms such as confusion, reasoning and memory loss. These medications cannot prevent the damage to the brain cells but they can help to diminish and stabilize the symptoms for a period of time. These drugs are designed to affect the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for transporting messages between the nerve cells. There has been some indication that taking these drugs along with large doses of vitamin E helps delay some of the cognitive loss.
Along with cognitive loss, patients suffering from Alzheimer’s also experience changes in mood and behavior including anxiety, irritability and depression. These symptoms are considered to be the most distressing and challenging affects of the disease. There are some medications that might help with maintaining stability through environmental influences. Identifying what triggers the mood swings and anxiety is another way of helping a person with Alzheimer’s to feel less challenged in their environment. When dealing with these behavioral issues, it is important to monitor the patients’ personal comfort, avoid being confrontational, create a calm environment and understand the reasons behind each behavior.
There are numerous alternative treatments, such as dietary supplements, that are also available but not approved by the FDA. Most of these treatments are based primarily on testimonials and not scientifically tested. A governing body does not enforce the purity of these products; it is the manufacturers’ responsibility to enforce their own guidelines. The medical community is concerned about the interactions between the dietary supplements and the prescribed medication, so any supplements or home remedies need to be thoroughly discussed with your medical professional.
There is hope that future drugs will slow or prevent Alzheimer’s all together, but the testing takes many years to complete. Dr. Richard Mohs from the Alzheimer’s Association Research Roundtable states, “The science of Alzheimer’s has advanced to show potential underlying drivers of the disease. And we have candidate drugs we can test because of this basic science knowledge.”
Senior Care Centers are committed to providing a wonderful quality of life for our patients. If your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s and you don’t know what your options are, call Senior Care Center today and explore our Abri Memory Care options.