Alzheimer Write Up

Alzheimer’s: What are the current available treatments to help relieve Alzheimer symptoms?”


Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia; it is an incurable, degenerative, and terminal disease. Generally, it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less prevalent early onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. In 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide, as of 2009 those figures have nearly doubled and it is now estimated that there are 35.5 million Alzheimer sufferers worldwide. With the advances in technology and science a cure for Alzheimer’s is in development.

The Problem:

What are the current available treatments to help relieve Alzheimer symptoms?”
[pic]Fig. 2 As you can see the cortex and the hippocampus shrivels and this will have a severe effect on thinking, planning and remembering. [2]
Medicinal treatments:

Cholinesterase Inhibitors

Cholinesterase inhibitors may improve cognitive function and memory in some patients. Four are available; donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine are equally effective, tacrine is rarely used due to its toxicity to the patient. These are drugs that block the activity of an enzyme in the brain called cholinesterase [7]. Cholinesterase breaks apart the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is vital for the transmission of nerve impulses. The recommended dose is 5 mg once/day for 4 to 6 weeks, and then increased to 10 mg once/day. Treatment should be continued if functional improvement is observed after several months, otherwise it should be stopped due to common adverse side effects which range from nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss, upset stomach, weakness etc. [7] Figure 3 summarises the drugs available to treat Alzheimer’s are cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. Donepezil is the first type of drug used in treatment as it is generally well tolerated by patients.

Fig 3...