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Drugs - prolong life or just mask symptoms?
Randy55
Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012 4:11 PM
Joined: 6/21/2012
Posts: 40


I read and hear so much conflicting information. Do the drugs prescribed to people with early onset actually slow down the progression of the disease? Do they extend life expectancy?
Randy55
Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 12:27 PM
Joined: 6/21/2012
Posts: 40


I am starting to believe that my ignorance on the subject has led to a dumb question.
Mimi S.
Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 12:39 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7029


Randy,

As a former teacher:there is no such thing as as dumb question. 

 

I'm sorry no one answered your question. It's a very good one. 

Currently most of the posters on here seem interested in one particular topic. 

Try posting on the regular caregivers, or if you have dementia, on either of our threads.

 

The answer to your question is, in general, yes. No drug works exactly the same for everyone. But research has shown that the rate at which one slows down is decreased. The amount varies from individual to individual, and in my opinion, may also be dependent upon where in the process one begins meds.

If this person is in the Early Stage, again, in my opinion, it ids important to get them on as many of the Best Practices as possible.

 

1' Take meds as directed.

 

2. Strenuous physical exercise. This, of course varies, but the point is to get that heart pumping faster for at least 15 minutes, several times a week.

 

3. Strenuous mental exercise. Again, varies, but something that makes one think in different ways. The usual crosswords, sudoku, writing, learning something new such as a language or instrument. Even using non dominant hand to brush hair or teeth will do something.

 

4 Mediterranean diet. I also take antidepressants and Omega 3.

 

5.Be social. Smaller groups, but keep relating to people.


Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 3:15 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4845


It is indeed a very good question.  Mimi has given a good answer to it.  It is not an easy question to answer.  Most of the drugs given to treat Alzheimer's disease prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine by an enzyme known as acetylcholinesterase (these drugs include aricept, rivastigmine/exelon patch, and galantamine).  Acetylcholine is a critical compound for short-term memory.  However, either these drugs do not inhibit the cause of the enzyme's over activity during the early stages of Alzheimer's disease or they do not inhibit it enough.  And as the disease progresses the activity of acetylcholinesterases is reduced by 85 percent.  As the disease progresses, the problem is the oxidation of transport systems, enzymes, and receptors involved in the production and release of acetylcholine.  The medications currently being used to treat Alzheimer's disease are weak antioxidants.  They may help some people and they may increase the time a person can care for someone at home, but they do not appear to lengthen a person's life on average. 

 

Nameda works by inhibiting a receptor (NMDA) that is involved in the release of glutamate and the influx of calcium, both of which kills brain cells.  Namenda also does this through its antioxidant activity which is somewaht better than the other drugs used to treat Alzheimer's disease, but in the end it too does not stop the progression of the disease. 

 

I have been searching for effective antioxidants to treat Alzheimer's disease for a long time.  Some of the most effective antioxidants are eugenol, thymol, and carvacrol which are found in essential oils such as bay laurel, clove, cinnamon leaf, holy basil, coriander, sweet fennel, and rosemary.  We have used several of these essential oils to effectively treat our mother for Alzheimer's disease for five years.  She was late stage 6 five years ago when we began to use the oils and she is probably earlier stage 6 now.   


Iris L.
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 1:22 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16642


Mimi S. wrote:

 

4 Mediterranean diet. I also take antidepressants and Omega 3.

 

5


Mimi

Mimi, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you meant to write antioxidants, instead of antidepressants.

Iris L.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 10:21 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4845


I should let Mimi speak for herself, but I read it as a Mediterranean diet (which is full of antioxidants) and antidepressants.  Sometimes it may sound like I am contradicting, Mimi, but I am only trying to add to what she is advocating--Best Practices + medicines (+ aromatherapy).  I know this is what Myriam is doing and from everything I can tell she is doing quite well, as is Mimi.  I just wrote on another post that almost all aspects of Alzheimer's disease can be partially reversed and each day I become more confident of that statement.