Month March 2015

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease

The Alzheimer’s Association reports over 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s1. With such a large number of people affected by this disease, it is important to know the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and what can be done to treat this challenging disease.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that typically effects the elderly population and causes memory problems as well as difficulty thinking along with many other symptoms. Identify the early signs/symptoms of an alzheimer patient and help seek treatment sooner and begin to prepare for your future. Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s but there are treatment options to help you cope with the symptoms of the disease.

The staff at Creative Care Pharmacy wants to be sure you are educated about Alzheimer’s. Typically the warning signs of Alzheimer’s are more noticeable to the caregivers and loved ones of someone who may be suffering from this disease. It is important that caregivers are aware of the warning signs so they may help someone who might be in the early stages seek treatment before the disease advances.

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s2:

  1. Memory loss such as forgetting important dates or asking for the same information over and over.
  2. Changes in ability to plan or work with numbers.
  3. May experience difficulty in performing daily tasks or driving to a familiar location.
  4. Unable to remember time or place such as having difficulty remembering where they are or how they got there.
  5. Difficulty reading or processing visual images such as not recognizing their own reflection in the mirror; may think that someone else is in the room with them.
  6. May have trouble continuing a conversation or may repeat their words during a conversation.
  7. Unable to find lost items by retracing their steps and may accuse others of stealing.
  8. Poor judgment or problems with decision-making. For example, giving large amounts of money to telemarketers.
  9. Avoidance of social situations due to their changes in memory.
  10. May experience depression, fearfulness, anxiety or confusion.

These warning signs are used in conjunction with tests given by skilled physicians to help determine if you have Alzheimer’s or if something else is causing the memory loss.

You may wonder if Alzheimer’s is preventable?

According to the National Institute on Aging, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s, however there is no consensus within the scientific community on what changes are better or if any actually can prevent the onset of the disease. What scientists do agree on is that eating a healthy diet, controlling diabetes, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and exercising can lower your risk of chronic diseases that may contribute to Alzheimer’s3.

Once a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is made, your physician will consider medication therapy based on the symptoms and stage of disease. These medications are used to treat the symptoms and help you live a better life. The following medications are currently approved for use in people with Alzheimer’s disease: Aricept® (donepezil), Razadyne® (galantamine), Namenda® (memantine), Exelon® (rivastigmine) and Cognex® (tacrine)4. Let us know if you would like to talk to a Creative Care Pharmacy staff member to learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease.

  1. Alzheimer’s Association, 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Volume 10, Issue 2. Retrieved February 04, 2015, from http://www.alz.org/downloads/Facts_Figures_2014.pdf
  2. Alzheimer’s Association. Know the 10 Signs Early Detection Matters. Retrieved February 04, 2015, from http://www.alz.org/national/documents/checklist_10signs.pdf
  3. Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: What Do We Know (Sept 2012). Retrieved February 5, 2015, from http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/preventing-alzheimers-disease/so-what-can-you-do
  4. Current Alzheimer’s Treatment. Retrieved February 5, 2015, from http://www.alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_disease_treatments.asp#approved

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