Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How is Alzheimer's Disease Treated?

How is Alzheimer’s Disease Treated?
According to the National Institute on Aging, "Alzheimer’s disease is a complex disease, and no single “magic bullet” is likely to prevent or cure it. That’s why current treatments focus on several different aspects, including helping people maintain mental function; managing behavioral symptoms; and slowing, delaying, or preventing the disease.

Helping People with Alzheimer’s Maintain Mental Function

Four medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat Alzheimer’s. Donepezil (Aricept®), rivastigmine (Exelon®), and galantamine (Razadyne®) are used to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s (donepezil can be used for severe Alzheimer’s as well).
Memantine (Namenda®) is used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.
These drugs work by regulating neurotransmitters (the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons).
They may help maintain thinking, memory, and speaking skills, and help with certain behavioral problems. However, these drugs don’t change the underlying disease process and may help only for a few months to a few years."
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