Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Treatments — How They Work


Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Treatments

Alzheimer’s Drugs and Treatment and how they work, from the  Alzheimer’s Association

Although there is no way to prevent Alzheimer’s nor the perfect drug that will stop the cognitive decline, there are drugs that may be helpful to some.

In the past, we have put most of our hopes on supplements as aids for slowing or reversing the progression of Alzheimer’s. For example: Omega 3 and fish oil are couple of the suggested treatments for reversing and protecting the brain for Alzheimer’s.

Through testing, many scientists are hopeful about finding a drug that will eliminate Alzheimer’s completely in the future. Despite the fact that no cure has been found, there are several drugs that offer some help with the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer’s.

In the brain, neurons carry information from one cell to another by chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurons connect at synapses with tiny bursts of chemicals. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters.

Alzheimer’s causes cognitive decline by breaking up this process of neurons communicating through neurotransmitters. It not only stops and damages the neurons  but eventually damages the brain’s entire network of communication. So we are always searching for more ways to delay the progress of Alzheimer’s in the brain. And new drugs are being tested constantly.

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There are 5 Major drugs approved for Alzheimer’s at this time, with research looking at several others for the future. Four of the Five major drugs for Alzheimer’s are: Cholinesterase inhibitors. They work by slowing the breakdown of neurotransmitters.

The Fifth Alzheimer’s drug is Memantine: It works by regulating the activity of glutamate, a chemical messenger involved in learning and memory. Memantine protects brain cells against excess glutamate, a chemical messenger released in large amounts by cells damaged by Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.  Memantine prevents the destructive chain of events by partially blocking the NMDA receptors.

On average, the five approved Alzheimer drugs are effective for about six to 12 months for about half of the individuals who take them.

My Mom took Aricept for 3 years. I didn’t notice much change in her behavior. But, I’m not sure what her behavior would have been without it.   So it’s unfair to say that it didn’t work for my Mom, yet I noticed no implication that it made a difference.

The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to accelerating the global effort to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease. They are the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer research. From their website, you can verify funding, partnerships, grants, or make a donation!

For more assistance, you might contact the Alzheimer’s Association near you!

The Alzheimer’s Association


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