Alzheimer's Disease Essay

1213 words - 5 pages

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and the course of the disease varies from

individual to individual. According to Howard Crystal (2013), MD, different studies have

shown that the disease progresses from 2 to 25 years, but for most patients it is usually in

the 8 to 25 year range. Individuals do not die directly from the disease, but from problems

with swallowing or walking. The patient can certainly live with the disease. For instance,

most patients stay at home as long as someone else is around them and providing care.

At the severe stage of the disease, patients cannot do math problems or play piano for

enjoyment since they are likely to make mistakes. However, patients ...view middle of the document...

(“Cholinesterase Inhibitors,” n.d.)

Non-drug methods of managing behavioral symptoms allow patients with

Alzheimer’s disease to improve not only their emotional solace, but also their physical

comfort. Some of the methods of managing behavioral symptoms is by changing the

environment to solve any obstacles to comfort, recognizing what causes the symptoms

and relate to the experience of the individual with Alzheimer’s disease, and

acknowledging that the individual is not acting aggressive and ill-tempered, but is

showing further symptoms of the disease. (“Treatments for Behavior,” n.d.).

Moreover, there are alternative treatment options available. The rising

conflict with alternative remedies is that the effectiveness and safeness are unknown, the

purity is unknown, and some of the dietary supplements may cause a problem if mixed

prescribed medications from the doctor. Caprylic acid, a medium chain triglyceride is

made from the processing of coconut oil or palm kernel oil. Caprylic acid may be an

alternate way of providing an energy source for brain cells that are incapable of using

glucose as a result from Alzheimer’s disease.

Another alternative remedy is the intake of “Coral” calcium supplements. Coral

calcium is derived from the shells of living organisms and is substantially marked as a

cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Ginkgo biloba, a plant extract, is believed to contain anti-

inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties can improve the function of

neurotransmitters and protect cell membranes. Ginkgo, which has been used in traditional

Chinese medicine, is commonly used in Europe to improve cognitive symptoms related

to neurological conditions. (“Alternative Treatments”, n.d)

The current focus on research for Alzheimer’s disease is developing a definitive

diagnosis, other than an autopsy and developing more efficient drugs to treat

Alzheimer’s disease. According to a recent news article by Julia Wong (2014) from

Global News Toronto (2014), a research done in Halifax states that Alzheimer’s disease

can be fully diagnosed without an Autopsy. Using donated brain at the Maritime Brain

Bank, Dr. Sultan Darvesh has stated a way to test for the disease while patients are alive.

As mentioned previously, most brain imaging techniques can only identify if there

is atrophy of the brain tissue, stroke, or tumour.

Researches from the past have tagged abnormal proteins such as amyloid by

using radioactive compounds. However, Dr. Sultan Darvesh states that it is not accurate

to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease because the amyloid proteins can be also found in

individuals who do not have the disease. Instead, Darvesh identified that a protein called

butyrylcholinesterase is found in Alzheimer’s disease, which can be used to differentiate

normal people who have amyloid in their brain and Alzheimer’s disease. Darvesh...

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