How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease | Heidi Moawad, MD | RxEconsult

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How To Prevent Alzheimers Disease Category: Neurology: Alzheimer's, Dementia, Development by - June 25, 2016 | Views: 35805 | Likes: 1 | Comment: 1  

Prescription medication for Alzheimer's disease prevention 

There are several medications that are used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. So far, none of these medications have been found to be beneficial for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. 

There are two categories of medications that are approved for Alzheimer's disease. They are either cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine) or NMDA antagonist (memantine). 

The cholinesterase inhibitors are believed to work by preventing important neurotransmitters in the brain from being broken down. The NMDA antagonists are believed to work by averting toxic damage to brain cells. These medications may slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease in some individuals, but overall, they do not appear to have a dramatic impact. 

Herbal treatments for Alzheimer's disease prevention

Some herbal treatments have been advocated for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. The most common of the herbal treatments associated with Alzheimer's disease prevention include ginger and Ginkgo biloba. Scientific studies do not appear to support a preventative effect for these herbs. Both ginger and Ginkgo biloba have blood thinning properties. The blood thinning action may protect against blood clots, but these herbs should not be used by people who are also taking a blood thinner. 

Cognitive exercises for Alzheimer's disease prevention 

While people of all educational backgrounds, professions, IQ and socioeconomic status develop Alzheimer's disease, there is evidence suggesting that having a more engaged brain throughout life is protective against Alzheimer's disease. 

Cognitive exercises include puzzles, math brainteasers, computer games, and problem-solving challenges. However, real-life problem solving is a cognitive exercise. If you work in a stimulating job, or if you manage a complex family schedule or if you are constantly problem-solving in your life, you are probably getting enough cognitive exercise without having to deliberately take on additional challenges.

Alzheimer’s prevention is a lifelong project that is primarily in line with living well. There are some genetic factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Genetic testing is not standard at this time, but if you have a strong family history of Alzheimer’s disease, it is worthwhile to tell your doctor and to pay close attention to Alzheimer’s disease prevention. 


Charemboon T, Jaisin K. Ginkgo biloba for prevention of dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, May 2015

Schelke MW, Hackett K, Chen JL, Shih C, Shum J, Montgomery ME2, Chiang GC, Berkowitz C, Seifan A, Krikorian R, Isaacson RS. Nutritional interventions for Alzheimer's prevention: a clinical precision medicine approach. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, March 2016

Radak ZHart NSarga LKoltai E, Atalay M, Ohno H, Boldogh I. Exercise plays a preventive role against Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2010

Also Read:


Definition, Symptoms, And Signs Of Common Types Of Dementia 

Symptoms And Treatment Of Four Types Of Dementia 

Review Of Alzheimer's Disease Treatment With Medications

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