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What are the best treatments for Alzheimer's disease?

May 15, 2023

Healthy YOU | Memory Care
Nurse helping a women

It’s comforting to know about the best treatments for Alzheimer’s in case you, or a loved one, develop this complex disease in the future. “There are definitely some steps you can take to reduce your risk, delay the onset and manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, explains Tina Thomas, DHA, MSHP, CDP, CADDCT, Executive Director of The Martha W. Goodson Center.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain condition that causes dementia, a group of symptoms indicating a progressive decline in cognitive function. Roughly 60-70% of people with dementia also have Alzheimer’s disease; in those cases, Alzheimer’s-related brain changes caused their dementia. (who.int) In most people, the first area of the brain that Alzheimer’s affects is memory.

Treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease

 

At this time, there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. So depending on the person’s exact situation, overall health and social factors, an Alzheimer’s care team may recommend one or a combination of the following:

 

Behavioral monitoring

One of the biggest challenges associated with Alzheimer’s is the emotional aspect. It can be difficult to deal with the changes that Alzheimer’s has on a person’s moods and their personality. “ By monitoring environmental changes, caregivers can stay attuned to what triggers emotional changes – such as being too cold or needing to use the bathroom, or being in a loud or unfamiliar place – and then being proactive about preventing heightened emotional situations before they occur,” says Thomas.

 

Clinical trials

Research centers across the United States – and around the world – have studies underway to understand Alzheimer’s better. You or your loved one may consider participating in clinical trials to potentially gain access to new, emerging treatment options. Participating also helps further our scientific understanding of this complex disease process.

 

Medications

Today, doctors can prescribe a number of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications for Alzheimer’s. These medications aim to help manage people’s Alzheimer’s-related symptoms, such as mood swings, trouble sleeping (insomnia) and memory loss.

 

Ongoing medical management

As with any other chronic (long-term) health condition, it’s important for a person living with Alzheimer’s to see their primary care doctor regularly, along with any other specialists involved in their care. At regular check-ups, the doctor can check the progression of Alzheimer’s, determine if the person is experiencing any medication side effects and answer patient and caregiver questions.

 

Nutritional supplements

Research is ongoing, but many experts now believe in a direct connection between nutrition and brain health. Doctors recommend eating foods rich in carotenoids (brightly colored vegetables, including spinach, kale, orange bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and carrots) and omega-3 fatty acids (nuts, seeds and cold-water fish like salmon and tuna) to protect your brain’s function.

 

Make an appointment

Take steps now to help your brain and memory stay in tip-top shape for years to come. Schedule an appointment with a Riverside Health System provider to make sure you’re doing all you can to stay healthy as you age.

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