It was 1906 when Dr. Alois Alzheimer’s had a patient experiencing memory loss, agitation, and paranoia. Since that very first case, research has been ongoing, but there’s still no cure. The first Alzheimer’s medication (Tacrine) won FDA approval in 1994. It was discontinued in 2013 because too many patients were experiencing liver damage after taking the medication.
Currently, there are four medications for Alzheimer’s: Donepezil, Galantamine, Memantine, and Rivastigmine.
Donepezil gained FDA approval in 1996. Rivastigmine gained FDA approval in 2000. While Memantine and Galantamine gained approval a few years later. The fifth and most recent medication earned FDA approval in 2014 and is a combination of Donepezil and Memantine.
It’s been 15 years since a new Alzheimer’s medication passed trials and sought FDA approval. While some still search for a cure, eyes are turning to prevention instead of a cure.
What Are the Recommendations for Alzheimer’s Prevention?
Diet and exercise are the key components in Alzheimer’s prevention. Doctors feel the best way to try to avoid Alzheimer’s is by maintaining a healthy weight and keeping blood pressure and blood cholesterol low. To do that, exercise and a healthy diet are ideal.
For a healthy diet, doctors recommend avoiding processed ingredients, saturated fats, and sugar. Whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins are ideal. Some recommend following the DASH or the Mediterranean Diet if meal plans are needed. You can also talk to your doctor to find out more about losing or maintaining a healthy weight.
Exercise goals should be to get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 days a week. More may be better. The exercise must get you moving. A slow amble around the block is not ideal. Try to mix up exercises so that different muscles get a workout.
What if Your Mom or Dad Already Has Alzheimer’s?
The Alzheimer’s Association says 5.7 million men and women in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s. Your mom or dad may be one of the millions diagnosed with this form of dementia. There is no cure. The best plan of action is to slow the rate at which symptoms appear. To do this, you should sit down and discuss Alzheimer’s medications with your mom or dad’s doctor.
Work with your parent on activities that help with memory retention. Go through old photos and ask for details about who is in the picture and what was going on. Record these sessions and get them stored to the computer before the memories get lost.
Be ready for the day when caregivers are needed. You may want to care for your mom or dad, but respite care is just one service you’ll rely on as Alzheimer’s progresses. Caregivers can also help with personal hygiene. Call a home care agency to find out other ways to get help caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Ardmore, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. Call today: (484) 206-4544
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