Alzheimer’s disease treatment: On-going and New


Alzheimer’s disease is one of the very well known brain-related neurological complications. People tend to confuse Alzheimer’s with Dementia. Dementia is a broader group of cognition related complications like a decline in thinking capacity, memory loss and memory lapses, focus, and attention. Alzheimer’s is a disease among the broader grouped Dementia–
Short-term memory loss acts is a primary diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Researchers are continually working towards Alzheimer’s disease treatment. 

Tips to combat the worsening memory

  • Keep all the necessary items in the same place at home. Store your medications in a safe place. Make a habit of writing down to keep track of your dosage.
  • Try to attend therapy sessions at the same time every day.
  • Use the calendar and make a to-do checklist. Try to complete and check off the tasks.
  • Ensure that your footwear provides you with good friction.
  • Reduce the number of mirrors as they are frightening for AD patients.

Genetic factors responsible for Alzheimer’s disease

The gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease is APOE (chromosome-19), which codes for Apolipoprotein. There are three alleles for the gene- APOE- 2,3,4. APOE-4 is the vital genetic factor associated with Alzheimer’s. Although the inheritance of APOE- 4 increases the risk of the disease, all carriers may not have the condition. It is responsible for both late and early onset of the symptoms. The risk increases with age between 40 and 90 years. 

According to studies, women are at more significant risk of Alzheimer’s, along with an increased risk of vascular Dementia. This conclusion is based on the fact that women live longer than men. Men tend to die early with the disease, increasing the number of diseased women in the population. Since the risk increases with age, the risk in women is partly because of longevity.

Current Alzheimer’s disease treatment

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors: Acetylcholine deficiency is a character of AD. Cholinesterase is the enzyme that hydrolyzes acetylcholine, reducing its concentration. The esterase inhibitors will not allow the esterase enzyme activity, thereby increasing acetylcholine concentration. Drugs include Donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine.
  • Memantine: It is a drug used as an agonist of Dopamine. Reduced Dopamine in the system is another feature of AD. This agonist helps increase the concentration of Dopamine, thereby reducing the symptoms. Additionally, it also helps alter the levels of glutamate– learning and memory. It helps keep the chemical level in check because AD brain cells release high amounts of glutamate. 
  • Alternative treatment, which doesn’t focus on neurotransmitters include nutraceutical Huperzine A. This drug helps improve cognitive functions.

These medications can result in side-effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. It is always best to inform your doctors at the onset of these unusual symptoms.

  • Vitamin D deficiency is frequently observed in AD patients. Thus, vitamin supplements are among the treatments of Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors also recommend Vitamin E supplements for AD.
  • In the late stages of the disease, there are cases of inflammation. Doctors prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) to contain the swelling, although a long term study of NSAID treatment exhibits no significant difference in cognitive functions.
  • Omega 3 fatty acid supplements: Omega 3 fatty acid helps improve attention and has cardiovascular benefits. Management of cardiovascular health is good for the overall health of the brain. It also stops neurodegeneration and improves cerebrovascular disease symptoms.
  • A mediterranean diet highly improves the overall condition of AD.

Additional medications

Moreover, doctors also prescribe certain medications like antidepressants and sleep aids. Sleep aids can induce sleep at night, although the usage should be limited since they can result in dependence. Antipsychotics are prescribed to reduce hallucination-like psychosis symptoms. Make sure you use antipsychotics under professional recommendations. Anticonvulsants reduce the agitation and aggression symptoms of AD.

Exercise among the best treatments for Alzheimer’s

Exercise helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular and coronary artery disease complications. It also allows Diabetes Mellitus patients. AD patients, when exercise regularly relieve the stress of caregivers because it helps improve symptoms over time. Additionally, it improves neuropsychiatric conditions. Moreover, cognitive functions also develop later in life with exercise.

Doctors observed less atrophy in AD suffering individuals who exercise regularly. A few of these clients also had a load of genetic inheritance for the disease. Regular exercise reduces atrophy because it prevents neurodegeneration

It is a highly recommended treatment in neurodegenerative complications. Although aerobic exercise has so many positive effects, the underlying mechanism is still under research.

Future-oriented Alzheimer’s disease treatment

Future treatments focus on the neurofibrillary tangles and Amyloid. It also focuses on early identification and subsequent approach. These future treatments can slow or halt the symptoms of AD. 

Anti-amyloid

Increased concentrations of Amyloid in the system aids in the hyperphosphorylation of Tau protein. Tau proteins, in turn, interfere with neural transport by forming neurofibrillary tangles. This process makes Amyloids an efficient target for the treatment of AD. 

  1. Antibody-dependent: Antibodies facilitates the Amyloid Beta peptides out of the body. Hence, this process is also an immune therapy treatment. It is most effective in the early stages of the disease. 
  2. Amyloid precursor proteins: This method involves APP as the primary targets, in the events of APP inhibition, the Amyloid proteins synthesis halts. 
  3. Combination therapy: It involves using both APP inhibitors and antibodies to attack the halt Amyloid synthesis. This method has more efficiency comparatively. 

However, treatments to attack the tau proteins with anti-Tau are under research. Another research includes the treatment using Gamma oscillators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Related: Exercise for brain health: What can exercise do to your brain?

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