Alzheimer's Disease Causes, Stages, and Symptoms (cont.)

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Partial glutamate antagonists

Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. One theory suggests that too much glutamate may be bad for the brain and cause deterioration of nerve cells. Memantine (Namenda) works by partially decreasing the effect of glutamate to activate nerve cells. Studies have demonstrated that some patients on memantine can care for themselves better than patients on sugar pills (placebos). Memantine is approved for treatment of moderate and severe dementia, and studies did not show it was helpful in mild dementia. It is also possible to treat patients with both AchEs and memantine without loss of effectiveness of either medication or an increase in side effects.

Non-drug based treatments

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Non-medication based treatments include maximizing patients' opportunities for social interaction and participating in activities such as walking, singing, dancing that they can still enjoy. Cognitive rehabilitation, (whereby a patient practices on a computer program for training memory), may or may not be of benefit. Further studies of this method are needed.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/20/2015

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Alzheimer's Disease - Symptoms Question: Please describe the symptoms you or loved one experienced with Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's Disease - Treatments Question: What stage of Alzheimer's disease are you or your loved one currently experiencing, and have any treatments been effective?
Alzheimer's Disease - Non-Drug Treatments Question: What non-drug treatments have been helpful with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in a loved one or friend.
Alzheimer's Disease - Dementia Question: Has a friend or relative been diagnosed with dementia? What are her/his symptoms?
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Alzheimer's Disease - Medications Question: If your relative is on a medication for Alzheimer's, what changes have you noticed?
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