The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a neurodegenerative condition that currently affects 6.5 million Americans. By destroying the neurons and synapses that connect neurons and help them communicate, this particular brain disease affects memory, cognition, social behavior and more. Researchers are now identifying drugs that are beneficial for AD patients, including those that can help alleviate certain Alzheimer’s symptoms and improve quality of life. Which common drug (often used for another condition) benefits AD patients and why some doctors advise caution.
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Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. However, doctors often prescribe medications for Alzheimer’s patients to temporarily reduce or relieve certain symptoms. These drugs can help improve cognition, reduce behavioral or psychological symptoms, or treat underlying conditions that may worsen the effects of Alzheimer’s.
“We are still searching for a cure to prevent damage to the brain, the most complex organ system in the human body,” he says. David MerrillMD, PhD, is a geriatric psychiatrist and director of the Pacific Brain Health Center at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence St. John’s Health Center in California.
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according to new published research BMJ Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, a certain noradrenergic drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression, may benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, repeated administration of these drugs to Alzheimer’s patients is believed to improve “general cognition” and reduce apathy, a common symptom among AD patients.
“Individualized medication recommendations should be made on a case-by-case basis based on which symptoms are most problematic,” Merrill said. the best life. “This study suggests that noradrenergic drugs may be beneficial in patients with AD who have become restless and struggle to participate in socially and cognitively stimulating activities.”
“The presence of apathy [in Alzheimer’s patients] According to a 2014 study published in the journal, greater caregiver distress is associated with decreased quality of life and increased morbidity. Current Opinion in Behavioral Science.
Given the number of patients affected by the symptom, addressing apathy could have a major impact on AD patients. “Perhaps underappreciated, apathy is the most common behavioral disorder in Alzheimer’s disease,” explains Merrill, adding that medication can be especially helpful after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. “Having effective treatment options for apathy, especially early in the disease process, would greatly improve the quality of life for patients and families struggling with AD.”
When apathy no longer hinders their social participation, patients with dementia may experience cognitive and psychiatric gains. “Being more active and engaging in activities can help prevent or slow further decline,” says Merrill. the best life. “It’s really a combination of using available medications as well as improving your health through lifestyle optimization. Exercise remains the best available treatment for maintaining and protecting brain health and overall health. If medication “If the medication helps the individual stay more physically active, that would be a win,” he says.
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Before starting any new medication or course of treatment, it is important to weigh the benefits against the possible side effects. According to experts, it is no different from noradrenergic drugs, which are accompanied by many side effects.
“The use of noradrenergic drugs may be another useful avenue for practitioners to treat Alzheimer’s symptoms.” Mahmud KaraMD, recently reported Healthline. “However, we must remember that this is a group of drugs with serious side effects, and they are not usually recommended for the elderly. Side effects include, but are not limited to, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, confusion, shortness of breath, and addiction. threat.” Older adults, who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, may be at a higher risk of severe side effects from this particular drug.
Talk to your doctor to discuss the risks and benefits associated with these and other Alzheimer’s treatments.