Keep Drugs For The Later Stages Of Alzheimer’s

LinkAlzheimer’s is a terrible disease which is rapidly spreading as the population all around the world is aging. As of today, there is no complete treatment for the disease and patients vary in the way they react to the disease. It is also very hard for the families of Alzheimer’s patients as there is a need in the later stage of the disease to be constantly around. It is very debilitating. Let’s have a closer look at the existing drugs which help fight the disease.

Those drugs people have been taking for Alzheimer’s may work a little longer than first expected. New research shows that various drugs for the disease that have long been restricted to patients with moderate symptoms can have positive effects on those in the severe stage of the illness.

Just a few years ago donepezil and other drugs alike were in the middle of a high court case. Drug manufactures Eisai took the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to court for not allowing people in the early stage of the disease to receive the drug. After months of fighting, NICE reversed the ban allowing people in the early stages with mild symptoms to have treatment.

While that was all good and well for those in the later stages of the disease, it did nothing for victims suffering severely. This led to a study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found the same drugs can and will continue to work in people whose illness has become severe.

For a great deal of time this was nothing more than a hope. But now, compelling evidence has been found that treatment with drugs like donepezil can continue to help patients in the later, more severe stages of the disease. Patients can better remember, understand, communicate and perform daily tasks.

It is important to recognize the fact that these drugs are by no means a cure. Sadly, all 295 patients the study was conducted on continued to get worse. But the bright side is the downhill progress was much slower in those who were given the drug with a similar drug, mementine.

To find the evidence, research measured patients’ scores on tests of thinking and memory along with their ability to dress themselves and conduct normal everyday activities.

Doctors are a bit hesitant, however, to prescribe dementia drugs a lot of times because they come with a massive placebo effect. At the same time, many are beginning to ease into the idea that these drugs may actually deliver real benefits for people at all stages.

While progression is tremendous and the new findings are optimistic, there is still a real need for new drugs that can check or even cure the disease. Relieving the symptoms and memory problems is a start, but it is not enough. Researchers are constantly looking for more funding to crack the problem of finding a cure to Alzheimer’s. Until then, there is only hope that prescribing current drugs to people at all levels can help them experience a little more to life than what was first thought and keep their cognitive skills in better shape.