How to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease


You’ve searched high and low for your car keys, and you finally find them — in the microwave oven. Now you’re standing, car keys firmly in your grasp, but you can’t remember where you had planned to go. This type of forgetfulness is common in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and it makes life difficult for the person with the disorder and for their family. Sometimes it can even be dangerous, if a person forgets to turn off the stove or stop at a red light.

Alzheimer’s disease was discovered almost a century ago by a German doctor, but it has probably affected people for much longer. People with Alzheimer’s were considered senile or just crazy in years past, but now we know it’s a specific disease that clouds your mind — not just normal aging.

How to Treat Alzheimers Disease  Alzheimers Disease

Think of a water hose with a kink in it, blocking the water from coming out at the end. The same thing hap­pens when your brain cell connections block up, but in your case it’s information flow that stops. For example, you may be trying to think of a word. You know what it is, but if the pathway to your mouth is blocked, the word will never reach your lips.

What blocks your brain cell connections? Tangled strands of fibers and worn out areas called plaques seem to be the problem. Researchers have found them in the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers and are studying them further to discover how and why they form. Only then can they figure out how to prevent them.

Although no one knows what causes Alzheimer’s, researchers do know that certain people are more likely to get the disease. Your single biggest risk factor is age. Alzheimer’s affects five to seven percent of people over age 65, and about 20 percent of the people over age 80. You are also more likely to get Alzheimer’s if you have a relative with the disease.

Although research has not yet found a cure for Alzheimer’s, doctors can prescribe medicine to help relieve symptoms. The FDA recently approved a new drug for the treatment of the disease. In clinical trials, 80 percent of the people with Alzheimer’s who took Donepezil HC1 (Aricept) improved mentally or at least did not decline while they were taking the drug. Medical advances like these give hope that someday soon Alzheimer’s will be a disease of the past.

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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