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Drugs As A Treatment For Alzheimers
Alzheimer's is associated with advancing age and affects mainly those over 65.
Life expectancy is increasing rapidly worldwide thanks to advances in medical science.
This is changing the population age mix to a higher proportion of those most at risk from Alzheimers - senior citizens.
The trend to an older population has manifested an alarming increase in Alzheimer cases diagnosed. More people are surviving to contract Alzheimers. Further, they are surviving long enough for the disease to develop to its more incapacitating stages which require major care resources.
The impact on care resources is sufficiently alarming to justify major effort in the search for solutions - such as a vaccine or medication to inhibit development of the disease.
Alzheimer's disease is irreversible, progressive and eventually fatal.
There is no cure.
So far, despite the claims of pharmaceutical companies, medication seems to provide only mild symptomatic relief and does not increase life expectancy.
Alzheimer's disease starts in the brain where abnormal protein deposits destroy the component neurons and the connections between them. Postmortem examination reveals reduced brain mass with surface shape less wrinkled than normal.
This brain damage degrades the body functions controlled by the affected brain area. Advancing brain damage manifests in loss of memory and cognitive ability; uncontrolled behavior change; impaired physical coordination; and increasing dependency on care givers.
People who cannot feed, clean or dress themselves; or remember where to eat or sleep; with mobility impairment etc. need substantial care support. Frail and unsteady people, who cannot remember who and where they are, will often wander off and can easily injure themselves by falling or walking in front of traffic - and so require constant supervision.
The progressive loss of motor skills and mental capacity results in ever increasing requirement for qualified care support as Alzheimers disease advances. The economic cost is massive and growing. Apart from economic cost there is a terrible human cost in anguish for the victims and the incredible strain on family care givers unable or unwilling to consign the patient to a nursing home.
Research into Alzheimers syndrome has produced plenty of new information. Unfortunately, fundamental questions remain unanswered which hamper progress in understanding the causes and mechanisms sufficiently to develop more effective countermeasures.
There is some debate regarding efficacy of various drugs currently available. Consult The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry documentation for information about Alzheimer's medications and their observed effectivenes.
Limited progress to date does not imply the cause is hopeless - just that it is a hard nut to crack. Medical research is a fast moving field, especially in genetics which seem to be an important factor in Alzheimers. Major resources are committed and knowledge advances daily. Improved drugs will likely evolve and possibly even a cure found ultimately.
Meantimes, care givers and those close to Alzheimer patients should keep up with current news and developments in Alzheimer's research - whilst encouraging and expecting the attending health care professionals to do likewise through appropriate and diplomatically phrased queries.
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What is Alzheimers Disease?
Making Life With Alzheimer's Easier
Further ReadingAlzheimer 101
Alzheimer's Care Facility
Alzheimer's Disease And Its Symptoms
Alzheimer's History And Outlook
Alzheimer's Patient Treatment And Care
Alzheimer's, Not Just An Old Man's Disease
Alzheimers And Dementia
Cause Of Alzheimer's Disease
Drugs As A Treatment For Alzheimers
Drugs To Fight Alzheimer's
Finding Caregivers For Alzheimers
Finding Out Early On About Alzheimers
Keeping People With Alzheimer's Busy
Living With Alzheimer's Disease
Preventing Alzheimer's Disease
Stages Of Alzheimer's
Symptoms Of Alzheimer's
Tell Tale Signs Of Alzheimer's
Understanding Alzheimers Better
What Exactly Is Alzheimer's?
What To Look Out For In Alzheimer's
Who Are You? Alzheimer's Symptoms