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Alzheimer's Disease Treatment

There is currently no treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that will improve life expectancy. Many treatments employed by medical doctors will, in a sense, set the clock back and give people suffering from Alzheimer’s a return of lost abilities, but none of these extend life. Typically, medical treatments allow people to recover abilities lost four to six months prior to treatment.

  • Medical treatment includes trying to increase the amount of the brain chemical called acetylcholine. The drugs that help increase acetylcholine are called cholinesterase inhibitors and only benefit about one-half of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. When the drugs work, they can slow deterioration of cognitive function and memory, but don’t slow progression of the disease.
  • Memantine - a relatively new drug - also appears to slow the progression of the disease and can be used in combination with cholinesterase inhibitors.
  • Some practitioners treat Alzheimer’s by using antiinflammatories such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal antiinflammatories (NSAIDS).
  • Occasionally, estrogen therapy is used in women.
Physical therapy is a good option for many people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Many Alzheimer’s associations suggest lifestyle changes and mental health support to help the sufferer.

Natural help for Alzheimer’s patients includes many dietary supplements and herbs with varying degrees of research to support their use. By far the best studied is the herb Ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo has performed as well as many drugs used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and sometimes much better.

Acupuncture is another natural therapy that may work well for Alzheimer’s support.

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