One of the most common mental disorders linked to Alzheimer's is depression which according to Elwood Cohen manifests itself in three important ways. First, "There are higher rates of depression among Alzheimer's patients than among non-demented adults;" second, "Having a depressive episode is associated with an increased risk for developing Alzheimer's," and third, Depressive symptoms can be confused with dementia in older adults" (1999, 214).
In a recent study conducted by the Cardiovascular Health Initiative, based in Washington, D.C., more than one-third of 400 dementia patients and more than one-fifth of 300 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) had experienced symptoms of depression during a one-month period prior to the study. Similar results were reported by the Multi-Institutional Research in Alzheimer's Genetic Epidemiology (MIRAGE) which discovered that "In the year prior to a patient being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the same patient was almost five times more likely than their immediate family members to experience some type of symptoms linked to depression" (Powell, 1993, 182). Clearly, these links between Alzheimer's and depression should serve as a warning to those who are now experiencing some form of depression, especially if some members of their immediate family are suffering from Alzheimer's or has at some point in the past.
Currently, there are a number of medications/pharmaceuticals that are being used to treat people with Alzheimer's disease. These include Cognex, "the first drug made available to treat Alzheimer's by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1993" (Cohen, 1999, 215); Aricept, released in 1996 and a significant improvement over Cognex and Reminyl, approved by the FDA in 2001 and derived from daffodils which were used in years past as a herbal folklore medicine to treat memory loss. These and several other lesser-known...
Obviously, any type of improvement and/or progress in patients with this disease is far better than no improvement, even if these drugs only slow down the symptoms or help patients to remain in a stable condition.
There are also a number of optional treatments available for those with Alzheimer's disease. First, since the disease causes inflammation of the brain tissues, some patients have responded quite well to the taking of antioxidants which "trigger a chemical reaction in the brain with oxygen, resulting in the release of free radicals" (Coughlin, 1993, 235). Some patients have responded positively to ingesting certain vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin B which also contain antioxidant properties and help to eliminate free radicals in the brain.
Of course, the best way to treat Alzheimer's disease is to diagnose it early on and thus alter one's lifestyle and habits. This may include taking vitamins, changing one's dietary intake, exercise and intellectual activities that involve thinking, such as reading and writing. However, the risk factors associated with being diagnosed with Alzheimer's is basically genetic, yet a person can make a great difference in their chances of acquiring Alzheimer's by early detection and by being under the care of an Alzheimer's specialist.
Cohen, Elwood. (1999). Alzheimer's Disease. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Coughlin, Patricia B. (1993). Facing Alzheimer's. New York: Ballantine Books.
Powell, Lenore S. (1993). Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Families. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishers, Inc.
A and Katie Courtice. (1993). Alzheimer's Disease. New York:…
Some treatments may actually help with the disease. Diets and dietary supplements Eating vegetables like broccoli and spinach may help older women [and probably men] retain some memory abilities later on, while avoiding obesity in middle age lowers the risk of later Alzheimer's disease in both sexes, new studies suggest." The effect of the vegetables probably comes from the antioxidants and B. vitamins they contain (Ritter, 2004). Herbal remedies and other dietary
What is worth noting here is the fact that behavior disturbances, ranging in severity from repeated questioning to physical violence, are common (National Institute of Mental Health, 1989). It is unclear whether Alzheimer's disease represents a single entity or several variants. Some experts believe that there are distinct subtypes of Alzheimer's disease, such as Lewy body disease (in which the signs of Parkinson's disease, visual hallucinations or alterations in alertness
A. Harvard Women's Health Watch (2010) Preserving and improving memory as we age. Feb 1: NA B. This is an article that is written directly to consumers who are over the age of 50 and are starting to notice changes in the ability to remember things. It addresses the fact that this wrongly causes fear in some people that they are prone toward Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown that cognitive decline
In fact, many researchers believed that free radicals, produced when the body burns oxygen to produce energy consumed in food, may be at cause. Free radicals are believed to damage brain cells by taking electrons away from the body's healthy molecules to balance themselves. A few 'free radicals' is not a problem. IF there are too many free radicals, the 'oxidative damage' affects the brain causing AD symptoms (Healing with Nutrition
2013: 1483). It notes that although genetic markers "are known for individuals of European ancestry, but whether the same or different variants account for the genetic risk of Alzheimer disease in African-American individuals" was unknown before the study (Reitz et al. 2013: 1483). In contrast, the Kolata piece seemed to suggest that the association was very much a 'known' quantity, even though it had not yet been directly proven.
G., demented vs. nondemented) were evaluated using the Pearson ?2 test. Levels of tHcy, vitamin B12, and folate were log-transformed to fit normal distributions. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using two logistic regression models." Chance: Low, given the long-term screening of subjects for AD in larger Maracaibo Aging Study Generalizability Eligible population: Patients with a strong genetic predisposition for AD Source population: Uncertain, given the diverse range of factors