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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases & Conditions Arrow to Alzheimer's Disease Alzheimer's Disease Arrow to Alzheimer's Treatments Treatment

doctor holding the hand of an Alzeimer's patientWhile medical researchers continue to look for a cure, there are drugs currently available that help slow the course of Alzheimer's disease.

There are also complementary physical and nutritional therapies that seem to treat cognitive and behavioral Alzheimer's symptoms.

Drug treatment for Alzheimer's disease

The main FDA-approved drugs for Alzheimer's disease typically prescribed by doctors is donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon) and galantamine (Razadyne).

All are classified as cholinesterase (KOH-luh-NES-ter-rays) inhibitors which help bolster acetylcholine, the chemical messenger vital to memory and cognitive skills. While nothing can block the brain cell damage associated with Alzheimer's, these drugs help strengthen levels of the chemical messenger and in so doing delay the onset of severe symptoms.

Memantine is another weapon in the Alzheimer's treatment arsenal that regulates the activity of glutamate, a different messenger chemical involved in learning and memory.

Not all patients see an improvement on these drugs, although the medical establishment continues to battle the disease through active research and ongoing Alzheimer's disease clinical trials.

Alternative treatment for Alzheimer's disease

Meanwhile, anecdotal evidence and limited research studies also point to the beneficial effects of herbal and nutritional supplements that improve memory function as the disease progresses.
alzheimer's patient
Drugs & nutritional supplements
have been shown to slow the
progression of the most severe
symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.


These include common anti-inflammatory or anti-oxidant supplements currently available over the counter, such as co-enzyme Q10.

Other nutritional supplements that have been shown to help include the herbal supplement ginkgo biloba, the moss extract Huperzine A (for centuries used in traditional Chinese medicine); as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, found naturally in oily fish and in supplemental pill form.

Vitamin B12 may also become the the newest weapon in the arsenal against the disease, as new studies reveal a marked decrease in the vitamin among patients who suffer from brain shrinkage or atrophy as they age.

Additional studies on developing a diet to help prevent Alzheimer's disease closely follows the Mediterranean diet that is low in fat and emphasizes fish, fresh fruit and vegetables.



also see -> Dementia | Senior Health | Amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's Disease


More about Alzheimer's treatment around the Web:



Treatments for Alzheimer's disease - Good introduction to standard medicines used in treatments including a discussion on alternative therapies.

Alzheimer's Disease Medications Fact Sheet - From the National Institute on Aging, this overview of drugs that typically treat mild to moderate or severe AD symptoms also includes a table comparing medications by name, type, dosing and side effects.

Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials - Check out a database of clinical trials now in progress throughout the U.S. searchable by city or state with related FAQ and information.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

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