Symptoms And Treatments Of Alzheimer 's Disease

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In 2009, I found out my father was diagnosed with dementia, early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. It was devastating to hear, especially not knowing what to expect, and only having information and ideas based on stereotypical behavior. I am familiar with some of the characteristics of a person living with AD, (Alzheimer’s Disease), however I really do not know what to expect as the disease progresses. My goal with this research paper is to develop my understanding of the disease as a caretaker, and find alternative treatments to go along with his current medical treatment plan. I am interested in finding out what I can do to make him as comfortable as possible, for as long as possible. I would like to develop a treatment plan as a Licensed…show more content…
• Stage seven – Very severe, final stage before death. The number of people affected by AD is estimated to be around 4 million Americans and estimated to grow to 14 million by 2050. 1 out of 10 people over 65 develop this disease with an increase to almost 50% of Americans over the age of 85. It affects people from all walks of life, including former US president, President Ronald Regan (Borda 13). Treatments of AD range from traditional cholinesterase inhibitor drugs such as Tacrine (Cognex), Donepezil (Aricept), Rivastigmine (Exelon) and Galantamine (Razadyne). Cholinesterase inhibitor drugs affect AD by inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. Acetylcholinesterase breaks down into acetylcholine which is essential for memory and cognition. The inhibitor drugs work by slowing the progression of AD, thereby prolonging the patient’s lifespan and mental cognition (Borda 46-52). Two alternatives used to treat symptoms of AD are massage therapy and aromatherapy. The effect of these treatments are considered calming to a patient that may be hostile due to loss of cognition. Not many scientific studies have been conducted on how massage therapy and aromatherapy are beneficial to treating AD patients. There is need for more studies due to the ever changing nature of understanding massage therapy. There seems to be positive results for treating patients in agitated states using stand alone or combined alternative treatments.
A relaxing massage can be a
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