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There is no definitive cure for Alzheimer's Disease since the exact causes of the diseases are not known. It is, however, possible to minimize some of the common symptoms of early stage AD with medications available currently. The following medications may be used:
Memantine HCl (Namenda) was actually prescribed for moderate to severe stage AD but now is being prescribed even in earlier stages. (5)
Damage to brain cells caused by chemical messenger glutamate, can be protected by the use of the drug Memantine (Namenda) sometimes in combination with a Cholinesterase inhibitor. The common side effects include dizziness, agitation and delusional behavior (16).
Administration of Vitamin E has proved to show positive effects without side effects (5).
Antipsychotic drugs not approved by FDA are some times used to treat agitation and belligerence. The drugs include Haloperidol, Risperidone (Risperdal®), Benzodiazepines and drugs such as Olanzapine [Zyprexa®], Quetiapine [Seroquel®], Ziprasadone [Zeldox®, Geodon®]). These drugs increase the risk of death in elderly patients and the side effects include sedation, confusion and increased muscle tone (17).
Update: June 23, 2007: A vaccine is being tested in Britain that could spare patients from the worst symptoms of Alzheimers. It could be available in a few years.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) and Indomethacin (Indocin) are expected reduce the risk of AD since inflammation is the causal agent. Nevertheless, research in this regard is still in progress.
Drugs such as Atorvastatin (Lipitor), Rosuvastatin (Crestor), and Simvastatin (Zocor) (used to lower cholesterol levels) may minimize the risk of AD as some recent studies have shown. However, further research is necessary and ongoing. (18)
Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
Page Covers: What are the treatment methods for Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer's is sometimes misspelled as: Alzhimers, alzeimers, alheimers, and alzimers.
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