Alzheimer’s treatment options – from lifestyle changes to innovative drugs

Nov 10, 2023 | 0 comments

Sarah Aharoni, 65, knew something was wrong since the incident.

When the day started everything was great: blue and clear skies, the sun was shining, and for the first time all the cousins ​​would come together for the annual spring celebration at her house. She planned everything perfectly and was in the middle of preparing the meal. The roast was already in the oven, the potatoes were already boiled, the vegetables were cooked…

Sarah was a healthy woman. She worked once a week, took care of her diet, slept as usual; But despite everything, the fact could not be avoided – Alzheimer’s disease began to develop and its symptoms increased every day.

While visiting the doctor together with her husband Alex, the medical diagnosis was confirmed. Sarah has Alzheimer’s in a pre-clinical stage that gradually develops into the first stage of the disease.

The diagnosis – Alzheimer’s

The doctor began to explain the options available today for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. The existing drugs try to reduce the effect of Alzheimer’s symptoms and help improve memory, or think clearly.

The drugs work by helping patients maintain the ability to perform daily activities (for example, showering by themselves, preparing food, engaging in activities outside the home), for a slightly longer period than would be possible without the drugs.

But, among the abundance of experiments in treating the disease with drugs and chemical methods (many of which have failed), hope has also arisen among the Alzheimer’s community; Is it possible that a change in lifestyle will lead to a decrease in the effect of Alzheimer’s?

The connection between the heart and the head

Scientists are extensively researching a theory according to which there is a connection between the health of the heart and blood vessels and the health of the brain.

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease and its onset can be prevented if the brain remains healthy. The connection between the heart and the head indicates that preventing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol, etc., which damage the heart, can also prevent Alzheimer’s. Research in this area includes:

  • Improving lifestyle through: Using a strict schedule of eating, sleeping and exercise routines according to the symptoms we are dealing with, there is a chance to reduce the progression of the disease and help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
  • Furthermore, a healthy lifestyle that includes sufficient sleep and a balanced diet can also prevent blood pressure problems, cholesterol and heart disease (all of which are risk factors for Alzheimer’s) and thus keep the heart, blood vessels (and brain) healthy.
  • Experiments on existing drugs to prevent risk factors in the heart for Alzheimer’s disease: for example, blood pressure drugs are tested on Alzheimer’s patients to see if they reduce the symptoms.

According to the latest studies, theories are emerging that indicate that Alzheimer’s is not limited solely to a genetic factor; It also depends on the person’s life habits, social interaction, sleep cycle, diet, mental happiness, etc.

Therefore, if a person can change their habits and follow a routine that is perfectly adapted for the purpose of fighting Alzheimer’s symptoms – this may produce a change in their health.

Sarah chooses Alzheimer’s treatment

Sara decided to choose this course of action for the treatment. The doctor performed a comprehensive scan of her body and combined the data with the information about her symptoms and genetic information.

All the information was entered into an algorithm which adjusted the routine for her. This included 8 hours of sleep, 14 hours of fasting (starting in the evening), physical training such as running, swimming, walking and more.

After a few months of following this routine, she began to feel changes. The extreme change in lifestyle significantly reduced the symptoms. This may not be a long-term solution, but at least the effect of the disease has been delayed.

Besides the scenario described above, there are also other ways that are being tested as a way to treat Alzheimer’s. Here are some of them:

  1. Focusing on amyloids for the treatment of Alzheimer’s:

Amyloids are amyloid beta protein deposits that are considered a characteristic symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. The treatment methods offered below are designed to prevent the development of amyloids (ie to stop the disease):

The drug Saracatinib (Saracatinib) to prevent the destruction of nerve cells:

Amyloid beta proteins in the body may stimulate another protein called Fyn and activate it aggressively. When the FYN protein is overactivated it causes brain degeneration. If there is a way to prevent the activation of FYN, it will be an important milestone on the way to treating Alzheimer’s; This is where sarcatinib – a drug designed to prevent cancer – enters the picture.

When the drug was tested on mice, the drug turned off the action of the FYN protein and stopped brain degeneration and helped the mice reverse some of their memory loss. The researchers are working to conduct experiments on humans and test the drug’s capabilities in preventing Alzheimer’s as soon as possible.

Monoclonal antibodies:

Monoclonal antibodies are a drug used to prevent amyloid formation. It also helps in removing amyloids and removing amyloid beta proteins from the brain. The drug solanezumab (solanezumab) works this way and is in trial stages among patients in the pre-clinical stage of Alzheimer’s.

  1. Beta-amyloid blockers:

One way to prevent amyloids is by stopping the production of amyloid beta protein. Various production blockers are used in experiments to block the activity of the protein.

  1. Prevention of inflammation:

Alzheimer’s causes mild inflammation (swelling, redness and irritation) in the brain tissue. The drug Leukine is currently being studied as a means of preventing the inflammation that should prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s.

What is the best Alzheimer’s treatment?

Unfortunately, we are just beginning to explore the possibilities and still do not have an answer…

Although drug therapy for the purpose of reducing symptoms is widely used, lifestyle changes – such as those of Sarah Aharoni – can certainly be the most effective treatment for Alzheimer’s that we will use in the future.

However, no two brains are the same, this is why each treatment affects each Alzheimer’s patient differently. We all hope that one day in the future, we will reach the day when the cure for Alzheimer’s is not a dream but a reality.

Looking for information on how technology can impact Alzheimer’s care? Enter the article – technological innovations for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

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