Following the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, there are only a small number of non-experimental treatment options available for the patient with Alzheimer’s Disease. Among the drugs that are available are Cyclospanol, Pavabid, and Vasodilan. Hydergine, an ergot alkaloid, is, according to Aronson, the most widely used medication for treating Alzheimer’s Disease. The evidence shows that there is at least a portion of the population that is very receptive to this drug, and who have shown good improvements upon taking it.
While there is only a limited number of treatments currently available, there are a large number of experimental treatment approaches that are currently being researched. Among these are nootropic agents, peptides, brain cell implantation, and Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Nootropic agents are believed to improve cognitive functioning without the side effects that are characteristic of other psychoactive medications. Peptides tend to aid attention and mood rather than memory. Brain cell implantation has been shown in some cases to yield excellent results; however, those results were only temporary, and the effects of the disease returned within a few days. However, this high level of success, even if only for a few days, may show the right direction to take in searching for a treatment of the disease. Nerve Growth Factor, a peptide, has been shown to help stop the loss of the characteristic loss of acetylcholine associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. Thus, while current treatments are very limited, it seems as if there are at least two experimental treatment methods that have been shown in laboratory tests to be very promising in Alzheimer’s research, viz., brain cell implantation, and Nerve Growth Factor.
Now that the causes, effects, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease have been discussed, let us examine a more practical aspect of Alzheimer’s Disease, namely, how to prepare one’s home for the care of a patient with Alzheimer’s Disease. As listed in “The Complete Guide to Alzheimer’s-Proofing Your Home” by Mark L. Warner, preparing one’s home should begin with the analyzing of the home, and the determining whether one of the following major projects is necessary for the safe and healthy care of one’s loved one:
A) Adding a bathroom
B) Converting a room
C) Preparing a care-giver’s room
D) Adding a washer/dryer
A, B, and D above are crucial, should they be necessary, to the safe and supportive care of one with Alzheimer’s Disease. Demensia may cause one to forget simple things like the location of crucial places such as a bathroom, or laundry room. Thus, in order to prevent undue emotional stress, any or all of the above steps should be taken to ensure that the patient can find essential areas without a sense of spatial or temporal dislocation.