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The Latest Alzheimer’s Treatment and Research News

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
01/16/17  3:41 PM PST
Alzheimer's treatment

Since the 1980’s, the respected team at the Alzheimer’s Association has been engaged in research and major advancements in Alzheimer’s treatment, as well as related dementias. Currently, more than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care*  for this disease and the demand for Alzheimer’s answers is overwhelming.

*2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report, Alzheimer’s Association

The latest Alzheimer’s treatment and research news from the Alzheimer’s Association:

FDA-approved Alzheimer’s Drug Treatments

As of 2017, the following five medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s symptoms:

Drug name Brand name Approved For FDA Approved
1. donepezil Aricept All stages 1996
2. galantamine Razadyne Mild to moderate 2001
3. memantine Namenda Moderate to severe 2003
4. rivastigmine Exelon All stages 2000
5. donepezil and memantine Namzaric Moderate to severe 2014

The Link Between Diet and Disease Prevention

A heart-healthy diet can benefit both the body and the brain. Generally, this type of diet is lower in saturated fats. Although research in the area of diet and cognitive functioning is limited, there are two particular diets noted by the Alzheimer’s Association: the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and the Mediterranean diet for a reduction in the risk of heart disease and dementia.

The latest University of Edinburgh research study in January 2017 found that closer adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet in 468 multi-ethnic older Americans without mild cognitive impairment was associated with larger MRI-based brain volumes. Results indicated that higher fish and lower meat intake were the primary contributors to positive effects on brain structure. Click here to read the full University of Edinburgh research study.

The Mediterranean-style diet includes:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans and nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Olive oil as the primary source of fat
  • Moderate fish/shellfish consumption
  • Low to moderate intake of dairy products
  • Limited consumption of red meat and poultry

The DASH Diet includes:

  • Fruits and vegetables and fruits
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • Whole grains
  • Fish, and poultry
  • Beans, seeds and nuts
  • Vegetable oils
  • Limited consumption of sodium, sweets, sugary drinks and red meats

Video – The role of diet and exercise in Alzheimer’s disease:

In this video, Carl W. Cotman, Ph.D., explains how regular exercise and a diet rich in antioxidants may benefit the brain.

This video is part of the THE ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT, a presentation of the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health in association with the Alzheimer’s Association, The Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund and Geoffrey Beene Gives Back® Alzheimer’s Initiative via HBO Documentary Films.



Additional Alzheimer’s disease resources:

Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s patients

Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s Patients

Webinar – A Guide to Managing Your Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients

A Guide to Managing Your Dementia / Alzheimer’s Patient: Video and Slides

Sources: Alzheimer’s Association, The University of Edinburgh

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