Alzheimer’s is a mental health and brain disorder that affects over 3 million people in America a year.
This is a type of dementia that causes problems with one’s memory and thinking. It causes a progressive loss of brain cells that decline cognitive abilities.
This may make everyday tasks difficult for Alzheimer’s sufferers.
There are 7 stages to this disease.
1.) there is no impairment at all. During this stage, Alzheimer’s is not detectable and no memory problems or other symptoms of dementia are noticed.
2.) A very mild decline
3.) A mild decline
4.) A moderate decline
5.) moderately severe decline
6.) severe decline
7.) An extremely severe decline
The FDA has approved two types of medications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: Cholinesterase inhibitors and Memantine.
Let’s take a look at these medications:
Cholinesterase inhibitors block the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is important in memory, learning, and cognition. This increases the amount of acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft that can bind to brain cell receptors.
List of Cholinesterase inhibitors:
May Come with Side Effects
Side effects may occur when on cholinesterase Inhibitors. These include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, muscle cramps, weight loss, insomnia, headaches, hallucinations, nightmares or weird dreams, and confusion.
Also, something to note is that cholinesterase inhibitors interact with anticholinergic medications, such as Artane and Cogentin.
Memantine for Alzheimer’s
Memantine is a medication used to treat the disease. It is able to treat the moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer’s.
Memantine is in a class called NMDA receptor antagonists.
It may improve symptoms such as memory, and taking care of daily tasks. Although, memantine is less preferred than cholinesterase inhibitors.
Namenda is a memantine medication used for Alzheimer’s.
May Come with Side Effects
Side effects may occur, but if they outweigh the symptoms of the condition, then the medication may be of benefit. These side effects include confusion, dizziness, headaches, constipation, physical pain, cough, and high blood pressure.
It is important to consult healthcare professionals for accurate diagnosis, treatment, and support for individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. You may want to visit mytelemedicine today to speak with a physician. They are online and available 24/7.
Alzheimer’s Association. (n.d.). About Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved from https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers
National Institute on Aging. (2020). Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet