Alternative Therapies and Treatments for Alzheimer’s DiseaseAlzheimer's, Dementia & Memory Care | March 29, 2016
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, affecting over five million Americans last year. One in nine people age 65 or older has Alzheimer’s, and the condition will typically worsen over time. Those affected will experience varying degrees of symptoms, but the most common signs include memory loss, confusion with time and space, and changes in personality.
While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatments including medications and making lifestyle changes can help delay some of the symptoms or delay the onset of the disease. Today, alternative treatments and natural remedies for Alzheimer’s are being studied, which will hopefully lead to more effective treatments to alleviate the symptoms.
New Breakthroughs in Alternative Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease
While traditional treatments for Alzheimer’s won’t cure the disease, early treatment and prevention can help delay the onset of symptoms. Physicians will generally prescribe medications that target the protein fragments, or beta-amyloids, that build up as plaques in brain cells and cause the damage that ultimately leads to Alzheimer’s.
Recently, some alternative treatments have been discovered regarding medications that are already used for other purposes, which include:
- Diabetes treatments: The drug Victoza, used for treatment of diabetes, is used to stimulate the production of insulin. Researchers have found that it’s possible this medication can also prevent the build-up of beta-amyloids in brain cells.
- Rheumatoid arthritis treatments: Biologics are drugs physicians will turn to to treat rheumatoid arthritis when NSAIDs, which are anti-inflammatory drugs, do not work. Researchers believe biologics can also reduce the inflammation caused by beta-amyloid build-up.
- Cholesterol medicines: Statins are used to help people suffering from high cholesterol, and studies have shown that although statins might cause memory loss, in higher doses they may actually help prevent dementia.
- High-blood pressure medicines: Research from John Hopkins University recently showed that people who took certain blood pressure medications decreased their risk for Alzheimer’s disease by 50%.
Natural Remedies for Alzheimer’s Disease
Along with medications, more natural remedies for Alzheimer’s disease have also been discovered. People sometimes will turn to a natural solution when modern medicine has failed to be effective. Some of the common natural remedies include:
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is considered a healthy fat that helps restore the lining of the nerves. This in turn can boost communication in the brain and improve overall brain function.
- Ginkgo biloba: Gingko biloba is a plant extract that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It’s thought to be both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which can protect brain cell membranes and regulate neurotransmitter function.
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 can help restore the nerve passageways in the brain, contributing to overall cognitive function.
- Cinnamon extract: Cinnamon extract helps facilitate better blood flow to the brain, because it can reduce plaque in the arteries. This can lead to better recognition and improved memory.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Research has already linked some omega-3s to reduced risk of stroke and heart disease, and it was also discovered that a high intake of omega-3s can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. This is due to the fact that their anti-inflammatory effects can support and protect nerve cell membrane.
When considering any alternative treatments or natural remedies for Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to talk to your physician before starting any of them. You should never start a supplement or medication without your doctor’s approval.
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