What you need to know
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the most common form of dementia, with as many as 5.5 million Americans suffering with the disease.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive and fatal disease that destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to interfere with one’s personal life, social life, hobbies, work and everyday experiences.
Alzheimer’s currently has no cure. However, treatments for symptoms are available.
- Memory loss
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems with language
- Disorientation to time and place
- Poor or decreased judgment
- Problems with abstract thinking
- Misplacing things
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Changes in personality
- Loss of initiative
Research & Treatment
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the year 2007 entered the history books as a period of tremendous advances in Alzheimer’s research. The McKeown Foundation, formed that same year, has aligned itself with this growing desire to contribute to further research in hopes of finding a cure and education more people about the disease, possible treatments, and caregiver options.
While non-drug approaches, such as creating a calm and familiar environment, should be tried at the onset in treating cognitive and behavioral symptoms, there are some medical treatments available to help delay or reverse some symptoms, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two types of medicine to treat the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The FDA has not, however, given approval to drugs that may treat behavioral or psychiatric dementia symptoms.