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Alzheimer's Disease

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There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and the course of the disease varies from individual to individual. According to Howard Crystal (2013), MD, different studies have shown that the disease progresses from 2 to 25 years, but for most patients it is usually in the 8 to 25 year range. Individuals do not die directly from the disease, but from problems with swallowing or walking. The patient can certainly live with the disease. For instance, most patients stay at home as long as someone else is around them and providing care. At the severe stage of the disease, patients cannot do math problems or play piano for enjoyment since they are likely to make mistakes. However, patients can read magazines or play sports such as tennis for entertainment. (Crystal, 2013). There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are certain drugs and/or non- drug treatments that can help patients with their cognitive and behavioral symptoms. The two most common drugs that are used to improve cognitive symptoms include cholinesterase inhibitors (Exelon, Cognex, Aricept) and mamantine (Namenda). (“Latest Medication for Memory Loss,” n.d.) Cholinesterase inhibitors are a group of drugs, which are used in the treatment plan for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Cholinesterase inhibitors work by helping increase the amount of acetyl cholinesterase in the brain due to the limited amount of acetyl cholinesterase in Alzheimer’s disease. Acetyl cholinesterase specifically improves memory, which can cause an improvement in the behavior and activities one does daily. Additionally, Namenda is also a drug, which is usually used to treat patients that have moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. Name... ... middle of paper ... ...ts for Alzheimer's & Dementia | Alzheimer's Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_steps_to_diagnosis.asp Alzheimer's disease Tests and diagnosis - Diseases and Conditions - Mayo Clinic. (2013, January 19). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20023871 Recognizing Alzheimer’s Disease: Early Warning Signs & Diagnosis. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/recognizing_diagnosing_alzheimers.htm LifeLabs - Test Information Directory - Homepage. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://tests.lifelabs.com/test_information.aspx?id=26970&view=reporting Wong, J. (2014, April 24). New research could be ‘game-changer’ for Alzheimer’s patients | Globalnews.ca. Retrieved from http://globalnews.ca/news/1289343/new-research-could-be-game-changer-for-alzheimers-patients/
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