What are the treatments for Alzheimer's disease?

Treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, no cure has yet been found for Alzhemier’s disease. However the disease can be managed with drug treatment, non-drug treatment and support from a range of services.

Drug treatment

The introduction of a new class of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors is the first time there has been an effective drug treatment for Alzhemier’s. Cholinesterase breaks down and destroys acetylcholine, the neurotransmitting chemical. Cholinesterase inhibitors help to prevent this breakdown and so promote a more plentiful supply of acetylcholine. There are three drugs available in this class: Aricept (donepezil hydrocholoride), Exelon (rivastigmine) and Reminyl (galantamine). In people in the early to middle stages of the disease, they may slow down the progression of symptoms.

Sometimes anti-depressants are prescribed to help treat the depression that can be associated with Alzhemier’s disease. The inappropriate prescribing of potent psychiatric drugs (neuroleptics) used to manage challenging behaviour, of people in residential care, has been recognised and criticised.

Non-drug treatment

There are other techniques for helping to cope with Alzhemier’s disease. These include techniques known as reality orientation, reminiscence therapy and validation therapy. Art and music therapies are also used, but their effectiveness is not proven.

Related Questions

What experimental treatments are there for alzheimer's disease?

Several . Much research is focused on the "amyloid plaque", and includes the vaccine approach, a new monoclonal antibody, bapineuzamab, and immune globulin. A variety of medical foods have come onto the market and can supplement current basic meds. Adjunctive treatment with axona, and cerefolin-nac may be useful. Read more...
Research ongoing. There are a number of clinical trials underway. The alzheimers association, the national institue on aging and the national institutes of health are good sources of reliable information. Read more...

Alzheimers disease, dementia, poor memory, mci -- what causes do they have in common?

Memory deficits. There is a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine which is deficient with aging, and that causes deficits in cognitive functions. Read more...
Not known. Alzheimer's disease is only one cause of dementia and there are other causes of memory problem. Some are reversible (e.g., vitamin B12 deficiency) so it is important to exclude them by medical examination. Mci may be a mild form of alzheimer's disease. Read more...