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What treatments are effective in managing Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating and incurable condition that frequently results in severe physical and mental disabilities. While associated with the very elderly, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can also strike younger people, even those in their fifties. 

For those living with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones, finding treatments that reduce both the progression of the disease and its symptoms is a top priority.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

Symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, but some of these symptoms include:

  • Memory loss from mild to severe
  • Changes in personality and moods
  • Eventual inability to perform self-care tasks
  • Paranoia, hallucinations and delusions
  • Eventual weight loss and seizures
  • Inappropriate or impulsive behaviors
  • Skin infections

As you may imagine, living with these and other symptoms is hard. As the disease advances, patients begin to need more help performing daily tasks. They also eventually lose the ability to work. A successful Social Security Disability claim is often the only way patients with Alzheimer’s disease can make ends meet and receive much-needed health care.

What treatments are available right now?

Currently, several available cholinesterase inhibitor drugs may help those with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease manage their symptoms, including:

  • Aricept (donepezil)
  • Exelon (rivastigmine)
  • Razadyne (galantamine)

A new medication called Donanemab has also shown positive results in clinical trials. Donanemab appears to reduce the buildup of tau and amyloid deposits, two characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug is still in the trial stage and not available for public use.

Those with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease also have drug options. These medications may reduce the disease’s symptoms while improving the patient’s quality of life and independence:

  • Namenda (memantine)
  • Namzaric (a blend of Namenda and Aricept)

Despite the widespread availability of medications, many Charlotte, NC residents cannot afford treatment, especially if they cannot work and don’t have access to medical benefits. Successfully applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be essential. A legal advocate can help you apply successfully or appeal a denied application.