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Alzheimer’s disease: Symptoms, stages, causes, and treatments

In a later stage of the disease, the treatment is slightly different and includes a drug known as memantine. This drug blocks a receptor in the brain, which slows down the accumulation of calcium that happens during this stage and causes extensive nerve damage. Memantine can be used with cholinesterase inhibitors, and their combination is usually recommended in institutionalized patients.

Along the way, patients with Alzheimer’s disease will develop various symptoms, complications, and emergencies. Every one of them should be assessed separately. They are known as secondary symptoms and include depression, anxiety, sleep problems, delusions, hallucinations, aggression, and other behavioral issues. These problems often improve with anxiolytics, antidepressants, and beta-blockers.

Other secondary symptoms include seizures, tremors such as those found in Parkinson’s disease, among others. They are solved with antiepileptic drugs, Antiparkinsonian agents, and neuroleptics.

Additional to medical treatment, Alzheimer’s disease patients may require different dietary measures to prevent malnutrition and similar problems. Physical activity is known to change Alzheimer’s progression. Thus, improving cardiorespiratory fitness is recommended in the earliest stages of the disease.

Remember that all of these treatment options should be individualized to each patient. Alzheimer’s disease is a very complex ailment, and you need all the help you can get, either if you’re a patient or a relative. Thus, if you suspect a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, talk to your doctor as soon as possible and share your concerns.

References:

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-53126-7_34

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20176294/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22002422/

https://europepmc.org/article/NBK/nbk499922

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459119/

https://www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm

 

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