Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia, which is common in elderly Americans. The disease is very severe and gets worse over time; eventually leading to death. A recent study showed that 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. The causes of Alzheimer’s are largely unknown, although new research shows a possible connection to gluten and insulin resistance. Apart from obvious genetic links three main theories exist about Alzheimer’s disease, all of which have to do with protein synthesis problems in brain tissue.
As a result, no cure is known for Alzheimer’s and current treatment options are limited and mostly only offer marginal palliative symptomatic relief. Five different medications are currently available, four of which are, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChe Inhibitors), and one, Namenda (memantine), which is an NMDA receptor antagonist. However, even these treatment options are not particularly effective. For example, a 2011 study on Namenda, a common drug prescribed for Alzheimer’s, found that patients being treated showed no improvement in cognitive ability compared to a placebo group. Other research also shows little benefit from the most common treatment of Namenda coupled with a cholinesterase inhibitor. Cholinesterase inhibitors were initially used because of one of the hypothesis for the cause of Alzheimer’s called the cholinergic hypothesis which is no longer favored as a result of the ineffectiveness of cholinesterase inhibitors. Not to mention, that serious side effects such as dizziness, headaches, and confusion are common with the use of cholinesterase inhibitors.
Essentially, current treatments may be actually making Alzheimer’s worse. This being said your best bet is to stop Alzheimer’s before you get it. At this point, prevention is far more effective than treatment. The two main methods of prevention are dietary changes and lifestyle changes.