Do you know what the most common anti-depressant is used for? Most people think it’s for treating depression, but in reality it’s most often prescribed for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In this article, we will discuss the most promising therapies for treating Alzheimer’s and how they work.

Overview Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition affecting many people worldwide. It’s characterized by severe memory loss and cognitive decline, which means that a patient with Alzheimer’s disease will struggle to learn new things and retain memories of things they’ve already learned. It’s the most common form of dementia, with an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide currently living with the disorder. It’s also the most common cause of death among people over the age of 65. The main types of Alzheimer’s disease are:

  • senile dementia (most common form);
  • Alzheimer’s disease that begins in young adulthood;
  • fatal familial insomnia; and
  • metastatic diabetes mellitus.

Current Treatments For Alzheimer’s Disease

There are currently no known cures for Alzheimer’s disease, which has led scientists to discover ways to manage and treat the condition. The best current treatment is likely going to be a combination of drugs, including:

  • Aricept, which inhibits neuronal excitotoxicity;
  • Exercise, which promotes neurogenesis;
  • Memorize, which improves cognition;
  • Nutrafin, which promotes nerve growth;
  • Reclivent, which improves mitochondrial function; and
  • Tamoxifen, which reduces beta-amyloid production.

Some people have been known to greatly benefit from alternative treatments such as dietary changes (i.e., the Mediterranean diet) or vitamins such as Vitamin E. In some cases, a combination of vitamins E and C have been shown to reduce the decline in cognitive function associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, these are simply treatments for the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and it’s still unlikely that any one therapy will be able to halt or reverse the disease process itself. There’s also a great deal of variability in how Alzheimer’s disease manifests itself among people, which means that any one drug will only be effective for a subset of patients.

Why Are Drugs Used To Treat Alzheimer’s Disease?

The use of anti-depressants in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is really just a reflection of how poorly most people around the world cope with the loss of cognitive function and productivity that comes with the disease. The biggest issue is that standard drug treatments for Alzheimer’s disease simply relieve the symptoms and don’t address the root cause of the problem. Many people feel that providing better mental and physical health to sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease is a worthy cause, which is why doctors usually prescribe anti-depressants as a first line of treatment. The main goal of treatment should be to improve the patient’s quality of life as much as possible and in most cases, that means reducing their depression and ensuring they have sufficient energy to get through the day. Unfortunately, there is a side effect to almost all drugs which is why drug companies need to find a way to develop less toxic alternatives. It’s also important to note that while doctors usually prescribe anti-depressants for people with Alzheimer’s disease, there is also evidence that they can be helpful for people suffering from other forms of dementia as well (such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease).

There are certain risks associated with taking anti-depressants, such as:

  • Increased suicidal thoughts;
  • Cardiac arrest;
  • Low blood pressure; and
  • Anxiety.

On the other hand, there are also benefits to anti-depressants, such as the ability to concentrate and focus, which can help people with Alzheimer’s disease to complete daily tasks such as cooking or cleaning. Another important benefit is that most people feel better when their depression is treated, which can improve their overall mental health to the point where they can start to deal with the issues they’re facing at the time. Overall, the use of anti-depressants in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is relatively safe and effective as long as the patient is properly monitored and has regular appointments with their doctor.

One of the biggest issues surrounding Alzheimer’s disease is that there is no cure. Although there are treatments available, there is no known way to stop or reverse the disease process itself. All this means that patients are going to have to live with the symptoms and try their best to manage them as best they can. This can be extremely frustrating for both patients and their families, who often have to watch their loved ones slowly but surely disappear before their eyes.

Determining The Most Promising Alzheimer’s Disease Therapies

If you’re reading this article, I assume that you’re either a physician who’s interested in pursuing studies on Alzheimer’s disease or a researcher who wants to break new grounds in the treatment of this terrible condition. In either case, let’s discuss how science is currently moving forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

There are a number of therapies that show great promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, with the majority of medical research being focused on targeting beta-amyloid, which is a protein that builds up in the brain as the disease progresses. Beta-amyloid is generally considered to be the root cause of Alzheimer’s disease and researchers are taking steps to develop treatments that will reduce or eliminate its production in the brain.

Targeting this protein will be key to developing effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. The best known pharmaceutical company pursuing this goal is Pfizer, which in January 2019 began a Phase III clinical trial of an antibody therapy that will bind to beta-amyloid and prevent it from clumping together in the brain. This treatment is called PF-04360845 and it is hoped that it will be able to reduce the buildup of beta-amyloid in the brain and, ultimately, halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. This trial will be split into two parts (called PART 1 and PART 2) and will assess the drug’s effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s in patients who are either currently taking anti-depressants or who have a family history of the disease. Patients in the trial will receive either a placebo or the drug and researchers will track their progress over the next several years to see if beta-amyloid levels are able to be reduced as a result of treatment.

Targeting Amyloid-Beta For Alzheimer’s Disease

There are currently no known cures for Alzheimer’s disease, which has led scientists to discover ways to manage and treat the condition. One of the most promising approaches is to develop therapies that directly target beta-amyloid, which is a protein that builds up in the brain as the disease progresses. This protein is generally considered to be the root cause of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s formed when a brain cell called an astrocyte “rounds up” beta-amyloid molecules and, as a result, these molecules cannot interact with other molecules in the brain, which results in serious memory loss and cognitive impairment. Many scientists believe that if they are able to reduce beta-amyloid levels in the brain, they will be able to halt or reverse the disease process itself.

There are already a number of FDA-approved drugs that target beta-amyloid, with most of the action taking place in the brain. These therapies slow the decline in cognitive function that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and provide some relief to patients and their families. However, they don’t cure the disease and the cost of these drugs is high (usually in the range of $20,000 – $30,000 per year) and patients have to take them for the rest of their lives. While these drugs offer great value, there is still a lot of room for improvement and new research and technologies can bring new hope to patients who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The following are some of the most promising therapies for Alzheimer’s disease:

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