The Best Medications for Alzheimer’s Disease

The Best Medications for Alzheimer’s Disease

Cholinesterase Inhibitors

Rivastigmine- Treatment with rivastigmine should be started and supervised by a health care specialist experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. An initial dose of 1.5 mg twice daily is recommended. If the recommended dose is well tolerated, your health care specialist will increase to a maintenance dose of 2 to 6 mg twice daily. The maintenance dose should be determined as the highest tolerated dose. The maximum recommended dose is 6 mg.

The most commonly reported adverse effects are diarrhea, anorexia, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. The medicine may cause weight loss and patients with Alzheimer’s disease tend to lose weight. Patients should be monitored closely for adverse events.

Donepezil- It has a long duration of cholinesterase inhibition allowing once daily administration. The medicine is used for the symptomatic treatment of dementia in patients with mild to moderate-severe Alzheimer’s disease. They initially suggested dose is 5 mg once daily which should be taken in the evening or before going to sleep. For a clinical response, the dose should be maintained for at least one month. After a period of one month, it can be increased to 10 mg once daily.

The medicine is well tolerated with some adverse effects that are mild, transient, and occurs early in the course of treatment. Some common side effects related to the usage of the medicine include muscle cramps, insomnia, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. In some cases, psychiatric disturbances, including aggressive behavior, agitation, and hallucinations may also occur. These adverse effects tend to resolve on decreasing the dose and discontinuing the drug for some time.

Tacrine- It was the first cholinergic protective agent. It needs to be taken four times a day. In high dose, the medicine can also damage the liver.

Galantamine- It’s approved to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. It is supplied in the form of a pill and syrup. It has been found to slow down the cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.

N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Antagonists

Memantine has licensed for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. It is a powerful nerve-cell killer; it protects against the overstimulation of glutamate that is responsible for exciting nerves. It can be used alone or along with donepezil Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Memantine is found to improve cognitive function as well as delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for up to one year.

The effect of the drug varies from different people. Some patients will not notice any effect, while others may find that their condition improves slightly, or their condition remains the same when they would have expected to become gradually worse. The following are the areas in which some patients may find a slight improvement:

  • An overall change in the behavior and thinking example-language, finding a way around, remembering routines, and other communication skills
  • Daily activities such as dressing and washing

A health care specialist can only prescribe this medicine. It is available in the form of tablets for oral administration. It should be swallowed with a glass of water and can be taken before or after consuming food. The treatment should start at a low dose of 5 mg once daily. The dose is then gradually increased over about four weeks to a maintenance dose of 20 mg once daily.

A very few people experience adverse effects associated with Memantine. These adverse effects are usually mild to moderate. Some commonly reported ones include dizziness, tiredness, confusion, headache, and hallucination. Speak to your health care specialist if any of these occurs and bothers you.

This drug for Alzheimer’s disease care is not recommended for people with severe renal impairment. Caution should be exercised in people with a history of the liver disorder, hypertension, epilepsy, and heart problems.

Memantine, the drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease symptoms will not help everyone who takes it. It is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. It is only useful in treating mild to moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Treating Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms

Depression- Antidepressants such as sertraline, fluoxetine may be effective in relieving irritability, restlessness, and depression associated with the disease.
Psychosis- Antipsychotic medicines are useful in treating hallucinations and aggressive behavior. Most physicians prescribe risperidone or olanzapine to treat these symptoms.

Apathy- Depression is often confused with one of the symptoms apathy. An apathetic patient lacks interest, enthusiasm, motivation, and emotions while a depressed patient is hopeless, sad, and tearful. The symptom may respond to stimulants like methylphenidate.

Disturbances in Sleep Likely to increase Alzheimer’s Risk

Disturbances in Sleep Likely to increase Alzheimer’s Risk

Alzheimer’s disease and its symptoms

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease develops when abnormal proteins collect in the brain. The symptoms of a disease include difficulty performing a daily activity, memory loss, changes in the behavior and emotions. These all are called as dementia symptoms, and these are not irreversible that means any loss of ability that developed the condition cannot come back. The disease is not curable, however, there are Alzheimer’s disease treatments and other lifestyle choices that may provide relief from Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Many studies are still going on to prevent or stop the disease and bring back lots of abilities developed during the problem.

Sleep problems and Alzheimer’s disease

Our brain clears out toxins associated with Alzheimer’s during sleep. It has been demonstrated that disrupting a deep phase of sleep appears to cause more of the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease to collect in your brain. The interruption could lead to higher levels of a protein called beta amyloid that forms plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disorder. Having a lack of sleep for a long period may give rise to the unhealthy build up of brain plaque which is responsible for killing off neurons and wiping of the memory. Longer stretches may also give rise to higher levels of tau protein that can cause damage to brain cells. Even a single night of sleep can increase levels of amyloid beta, which forms a cluster and affects the ability to communicate with each other.

It has been clearly shown that disturbed sleep is linked with higher levels of two Alzheimer’s associated proteins.

According to previous research, poor or interrupted sleep raises the risk of cognitive problems. People who have sleep apnea, a condition in which an individual repeatedly stop breathing at night. These people are at high-risk of developing mild cognitive issues earlier than people without the sleeping problems. The mild cognitive problem is considered as an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a complex condition, and it is very difficult to treat it successfully with any one drug or other intervention. Along with Alzheimer’s disease medications, current approaches focus on managing behavioral symptoms and maintain mental health with the help of support and counselling.

Several drugs are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration of USA) for Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Medications like rivastigmine, galantamine, donepezil, are useful in treating mild to moderate condition, whereas, memantine is for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s condition. The regular administration of these medications regulates the brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which transmit messages between neurons. They are helpful in maintaining communication skills, memory, thinking ability, and in certain behavioral issues. However, this medication for Alzheimer’s disease care is not effective for all people; they may help a limited population of Alzheimer’s patients.

Tips to encourage quality sleep

There are some ways that can be followed to promote healthy sleep patterns. Some of the effective tricks are as follows:

Quit caffeine- Caffeine is found in beverages like tea, coffee, soda, etc. may add to the lack of sleep. It is considered as a stimulant, which makes it hard for an individual to sleep at night.

Involve in physical activity-It is important for people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease take out the time to perform daily activities. This can promote healthy sleep, which in turn improves your brain function. One can also indulge in an exercise program; you can also go for a morning brisk walk and do appropriate age yoga.

Make a routine and stick to it- Try to sleep same time each night. This will help you sleep at the correct time. Avoid indulging in activities like playing games etc. instead, play some soothing music or have a shower for a good nightly routine to signal bedtime.

Poor Sleep May Heighten Alzheimer’s Risk

Poor Sleep May Heighten Alzheimer’s Risk

The connection between lack of sleep and Alzheimer’s disease

Of course, not getting enough sleep doesn’t feel good and it could have some scary long-term consequences. Poor quality sleep has been shown to cause weight gain, short-term memory, and increase the risk of diseases that range from depression to cancer. Also, according to a new research study, there is a link between disrupted sleep and the presence of the biological signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study found that people suffering from Alzheimer’s have observable tangles of tau protein, inflammation in the brain, damaged brain cells, concentrations of beta-amyloid proteins, which forms a plaque associated with the disease. Amyloid protein is responsible for clogging the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, thereby causing poor sleep. These biomarkers are more prevalent in people who regularly experience disrupted sleep patterns. The study also revealed that disrupting sleep during certain parts of the night can quickly increase the levels of Alzheimer’s associated proteins in the brain as well as spinal fluid.

Impact of poor sleep on your brain

A study was conducted which involved the samples of spinal fluids of a group of people. The average age of people was 63. All the participants have some increased risk of Alzheimer’s due to genetic factors, family background, but all with good mental health. The study revealed that age differences within the group didn’t seem to affect levels of Alzheimer’s biomarkers. But the researchers found that people with a complaint of sleeping problems reported having sleep problems, or feel sleepy during the day and had more biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in their spinal fluid.

Cleansing effect of sleep on the brain

According to clinical experts, people with disrupted sleep patterns may have a nasty cycle at work in the relationship between increased risk of Alzheimer’s and poor sleep. If a poor sleep cause increase levels Alzheimer’s biomarkers, it is believed that it could further worsen sleep, which could then cause more buildup of plaque.

Having enough sleep helps to wash out neurotoxins such as amyloid proteins from the brain. These neurotoxins have been shown to worsen sleep in research studies conducted by scientists and experts.

Regardless of the mode of action and levels of the risk, studies revealed that improving sleep should be considered as a priority. Clinical experts emphasized the potential benefits of facilitating better sleep.

Several effective interventions are available to treat causes of poor sleep. Diagnosing and treating disturbed sleep patterns may be a critical strategy to prevent cognitive decline in individuals with an onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Furthermore, effective Alzheimer’s disease treatments are available to treat the disease. One can opt according to his/her condition with the help of a healthcare specialist. Rivamer 4.5 mg is a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Improve sleep habits for better brain health

These findings revealed that it is necessary to take seven to eight hours of sleep for better brain health. Getting enough sleep slows the onset of Alzheimer’s and improves the quality of your life. However, only one night of poor sleep may not increase your risk, but if you have chronic sleep problems, it is essential to opt an effective treatment sooner rather than later. Regardless, good night’s sleep is something everyone is struggling for. Along with reducing the possibilities of Alzheimer’s, a good sleep allows the brain to recover which results in improved memory and thought process, making your mind sharper throughout the day. Having a sufficient amount of sleep even boost your mind and decreases the risk of depression and other associated health complications.