- What is Alzheimer's disease?
- What is the cause of Alzheimer’s?
- What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
- How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed?
- How is Alzheimer’s treated?
- What are the risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s?
- The seven stages of Alzheimer’s and how to deal with them
- Alzheimer's - Some further questions you may have …
The disease itself is complex, therefore there is not a specific type of medication that is prescribed for Alzheimer’s patients. The patient’s doctor will treat according to the progression and symptoms of the disease. The goal is to slow the progression of the condition. To date, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.
The two types of medications used to treat mental functionalities are:
- Cholinesterase inhibitors aid in communication of cells in the brain. The drugs in this category are used to help with depression and agitation which are common occurrences with the disease. Drugs include, donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine and galantamine.
- Memantine (Namenda) also assists in the communication between cells in the brain. It is used for moderate and severe cases of Alzheimer’s and can be used in conjunction with a cholinesterase inhibitor.
Some doctors may use a drug which is a combination of both cholinesterase inhibitors (dopanzil) and memantine called Namzaric, this helps to slow the progression of memory loss.
Anti-depressants may also be prescribed should the patient symptoms of depression.
Lifestyle changes are important to adapt to when dealing with someone suffering from Alzheimer’s. These changes can help the patient not to suffer from anxiety in feeling as though they are overly forgetful or mentally challenged.
Making the home and other surroundings as accommodating as possible are the main changes to be made.
A few things that can be done to make this happen are:
- Keeping common belongings in the same place.
- Ensuring good traction on shoes to prevent slipping and falling.
- Keeping meaningful belongings and photos in easily seen places as this provides a degree of familiarity for the patient in a seemingly unfamiliar world.
- Keeping a mobile phone with a GPS in the patient’s pocket to find them if they wander from home and get lost.
- Sticking to routine as strictly as possible.
Further lifestyle habits should be adopted if they haven’t been already. These include:
- Regular walking and exercise
- Healthy diet and eating plan
- Lots of fluid to avoid constipation or dehydration