The Many Sides Of Treating The Alzheimer

Those who suffer with Alzheimer’s disease have both cognitive and behavioral symptoms that necessitate many sides of treating the individual who has the disease. Treatment may involve many sides because the patient will have many different needs as they go through each stage of the disease. There are medications and non-medicated methods that can address the cognitive and behavioral symptoms that are experienced and that worsen over time. Treatment may include medications, non-medicated methods, therapeutic activities, educating the individual, family and close friends, diet, exercise and making the patient comfortable and safe by modifying the home so that it is more Alzheimer-friendly.

When treating a patient with Alzheimer’s the treatment plan will need to address the cognitive symptoms, behavioral symptoms, traditional medicated treatments, alternative treatments, being able to monitor carefully the progression of the symptoms, educating the patient, family and close friends as well as educating and caregivers. Care must be coordinated between all involved parties and end-of-life decisions must be made and incorporated into the treatment plan.

The cognitive symptoms of the disease are treated with cholinesterace inhibitors and NMDA receptor antagonists and sometimes vitamin E supplements. Commonly prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors include donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine.

Another drug used to treat Alzheimer’s is memantine, which is an uncompetitive low-to-moderate affinity N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist.

The behavioral symptoms of the disease are treated with non-drug therapies and strategies such as taking steps to identify the problem behavior, changing the living arrangements to be less disruptive, to monitor behavior and educate individuals living with them what to expect and how to monitor the behavior and how to safeguard the individual and all other parties living with them. Other therapies include redirecting the attention of the individual, simplifying tasks and daily routines of the individual, encourage the individual to take frequent rests and to see to the safety of the individual and all involved by installing safety locks and gates, removing all guns or knives from the environment and reducing the risk for fire by installing and monitoring closely smoke alarms and monitor usage of stove.

Alternative treatments that have been explored by the scientific and medical communities have been Gingo biloba, Huperzine A, Omega-3 fatty acids, Coenzyme Q10, phosphatidylserine, and coral calcium.

The caregiver must be involved in the treatment plan design, and in implementing the treatment plan because it is the caregiver who must be responsible to implementing the plan.

The doctor is an intricate part of the treatment plan not only because he/she designs it but also because it takes a real commitment to understand, and to stay on top of the changes concerning Alzheimer’s disease. The treatment plan must understandably change as the symptoms worsen.

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