4 Alternative Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease

Recent studies have shown that treatments traditionally given for high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic conditions also lessen the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Discoveries like these could lead to greater and possibly more effective alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s patients. Alternative Treatments for Alzheimer's

Traditional Treatments for Alzheimer’s

Traditional Alzheimer’s medications treat cognitive symptoms of the disease, such as memory loss, confusion, and problems with language and judgment. These drugs target protein fragments (beta-amyloids) that build up as plaques in brain cells. This buildup causes the damage that leads to Alzheimer’s.

Physicians will prescribe a drug regimen based on the stage of the disease. While traditional drugs can’t cure Alzheimer’s or stop brain cells from deteriorating, they can delay the disease’s progress for a certain period of time.

Alternative Treatments for Alzheimer’s

In contrast to traditional therapies, alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s have shown to lower the risk of the disease and even reverse its symptoms. Although some of the recent breakthroughs were accidental, each of the drugs listed below shows promises in making Alzheimer’s a disease of the past.

1. Blood pressure medicines:

High blood pressure is typically treated with life style changes and medications. These medicines include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and diuretics. Each of these medicines impacts the cardiovascular system in such a way as to lower blood pressure.

A recent study at Johns Hopkins University demonstrated how patients who took certain blood pressure medicines lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent. Researchers haven’t yet been able to determine exactly why certain blood pressure medicines affect cognitive function the way they do. But their findings warrant further studies.

2. Diabetes treatments:

Scientists at Lancaster University examined the diabetes drug Victoza as a potential Alzheimer’s therapy. Victoza falls into a class of drugs designed to stimulate natural insulin production for diabetics. But researchers believed it could also prevent the buildup of beta-amyloids on brain cells.

They injected Victoza into mice suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s. After two months, the drug had reduced beta-amyloid plaques on the brain by 30 percent. And it actually protected brain cells from damage. These results have led to clinical trials to determine if the drug has the same effect on humans.

3. Rheumatoid arthritis drugs:

Physicians generally prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If those don’t work, they’ll look to biologics. Made of proteins, biologics inhibit areas of the immune system that contribute to inflammation.

At the University of Southampton, researchers have planned a study on the biologic Enbrel as an alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s. Enbrel blocks tumor-necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a molecule that helps immune cells communicate. Blocking TNF-alpha reduces inflammation in the body. Beta-amyloid buildup also causes inflammation that remains after standard Alzheimer’s treatments. Researchers hope that Enbrel can reduce this inflammation and, ideally, stop Alzheimer’s damage.

 4. Cholesterol medicines:

Statins are widely used to help people suffering from high cholesterol. These drugs block the action of an enzyme in the liver that produces cholesterol. If left untreated, high cholesterol can cause plaque buildup in the arteries and eventually cause heart attack or stroke.

Previous studies had shown that statins might cause memory loss. However, the latest research indicates that in high doses statins help prevent dementia. Scientists specifically noted high potency statins as having the greatest effects on lowering dementia risks. The FDA continues to include a warning about the cognitive effects of statins on drug labels. So further studies are needed before statins can receive approval as an Alzheimer’s treatment.

Do you know of any other alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s? Share them with us in the comments below.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Lou lou

    Are there medications that we can purchase that will slow down/prevent Alzheimers,what tests could we take to find out how our chances are of getting Alzheimers

  • Flora Lape

    Hi my name is Flo i am 67 y/o recently became the care giver to my sis Phyllis 71 whom was dx with the beginning of alzhermers -I am just searching for any suggestions on how to make it easier not only for her but for me -I didnt realize how hard mentally this was going to be it is so heart breaking to see her struggle so hard to remember -she isnt even getting her stories from the past as a child correct ,I am just loving her and trying to make her laugh as much as possable

  • 19451951

    Recommend taking mega B12 vitamin along with folate, 400 ug, and B6. B12 is commonly deficient in elderly due to low stomach acidity, worsened by taking acid blockers

  • RedMeatState

    the beta-amyloids build up from a zinc deficiency. Most people have one!! So Zinc-Magnesium supplements are a great way to go. Coconut oil helps as well.
    And eff the drugs.

  • Chris

    Read the book “Grain Brain”. Low carb, high good fats, gluten free diet can help with many symptoms. Mom followed the low fat, healthy carb diet and is not in the nursing home with Alzheimer’s.

    • Chris

      Correction – Mom IS in the nursing home.

  • S. Zook

    As I recall, a couple of years ago researcher Shin at the U. of Iowa, found that statins cross the blood brain barrier and destroy the brain’s important source of cholesterol. Bruce Fife’s literature (books and free newsletter) discuss the use of virgin coconut oil with this condition.

    • sara15

      I have had various conditions affecting cognition, including undiagnosed low thyroid, and what’s inadequately called “chronic fatigue syndrome.” Also a bad reaction to wellbutrin one year that made thinking like slowly following crumbs of words in a dark tunnel. Awful. But nothing as bad as response to relatively low level of statins for a few weeks. Began to have “white-outs” — no thought — just white cloud in head. After I stopped and went online, found others with similar response. Yet some people take statins for years and remain mentally sharp, while protecting their hearts. There is obviously a link with various fats in the brain — but as with so many areas of medicine, the more real information there is, the more variation among individuals re genetics and other factors come into the picture. Certainly worth trying coconut oil — but the “alternative” press is as bad as the most conservative mainstream medicine in going for simple answers. Wish this were simple, but it’s going to be complex.

  • Alzheimer’s is one of the most common diseases in the 21st century. The four things mentioned over here are highly important. Acupuncture seems to have a positive effect in treating this disease.

  • DDJ

    Research 7-Keto. Safe and increases muscles. Does not interfere with hormones…very good for maintaining neuro components.

  • M.A.

    My mother is 63 years old and she was recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. She is taking some medication for high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, anxiety meds and 10mg of Donepezil. She is of small stature and is always tired in the last year. There has to be another method. There has to be a natural route. All of these chemical treatments have me in doubt. Has anyone found results using alternate NATURAL methods?

    • Lauren Swanson

      I have just been reading about natural remedies. There have been studies that suggest a reduction in degenerative brain conditions when coconut oil is added to the diet. There is much info on natural remedies online that are far cheaper and healthier then this article suggests. I hope your mom feels better and enjoys a happy life.

  • Yo Mamma

    Want results? tell your congress person to stop funding the military war machine and put resources towards this terrible disease – Over 1 Trillion to the military and 33 billion to the NIH – it is your money and time to have it spent more wisely. Many treatments will be decades away – it will not help the issue I face – but I want my tax money spent right for the next generation.

    • Liss

      If we are not safe, nothing else will matter!

  • CJP

    Read “Alzheimer’s Solved” by Dr. Henry Lorin. Page 109: Alzheimer’s is cause by a long term lack of cholesterol to the elderly brain. Eat your bacon, eggs, and butter. The Alzheimer’s Association will never figure this out because their scientists are “heart healthy” (low fat) doctors.

    • Sara15

      It’s not solved. Even if a significant part of what is going on is lack of cholesterol in the elderly brain, you’re ignoring (or and he’s ignoring) the role of genetics, and other metabolism and binding factors between food and brain chemistry balance.
      Part of the problem with genetic mutations may well be involved with lipid processing — don’t know if it’s so, but read somewhere that the major mutation inteferes with Omega 3’s. There are plenty of people with high cholesterol and high fat diets — and Alzheimers. New research on the 10 lipid test supports the role of a range of lipids, including, but not only cholesterol, but the how & why of the process and all the steps that can make a difference in between are not understood. This is a clue — not a cure.

    • BC

      Thanks so much for posting this information about Alzheimer’s being cuased by hte lack of cholesterol to the brain. Cholesterol plays such an important role in many vital functions of our body. THe infomration I’ve read supports what you say. A low cost way to improve the health of the brain.

  • Gordon

    It’s awesome how the four ALTERNATIVES to help with Alzheimer’s are pharmeceutical drugs. Perhaps the writer is paid by those same companies. Look at Ashwaganda. Not mentioned here (there’s no patent hence it’s of no interest to the drug companies) which has had excelent refversal effects.

  • BC

    I am interested in sharing information about alternative health care treatments of Alzheimer’s

    with families, care-givers and those who have Alzheimer’s Disease or who have a genetic tendency towards Alzheimer’s.

    A new piece of research out of the University of Virginia School of Medicine was published in the July. 2015 edition of Nature. This research was done in the lab of Dr. Even Kipnis.

    Up until now all anatomy and physiology text books would tell you that there are no lymphatic vessels in the Central Nervous System – brain and spinal cord. But the researchers at the University of Virginia, to their surprise, did find lymph vessels in the meninges, in the brain.

    The lymphatic system has several important functions. One is that it distributes immune cells throughout the body in order to maintain health and defend against disease. It also rids tissue of large proteins and toxins.

    Lymph drainage work increases the impact of both of these functions.

    Dr. Kipnis at UVA speculates: ”In Alzheimer’s, there are accumulations of big protein chunks in the brain, we think they may be accumulating in the brain because they’re not being efficiently removed by these (lymph) vessels.”

    Lymphatic drainage of the lymph vessels in the brain increases the removal of large proteins and

    toxins from the brain.

    These treatments are non-invasive and gentle.

  • Willem Visser

    Being a craniosacral therapist I have done research into alternative treatments for Alzheimer. In a small study it was shown that craniosacral therapy had benefits for patients with dementia. Also certain kinds of meditation are beneficially for people with Alzheimer’s. Next to that a healthy diet also has a good effect. For all of them there are no side effects. If you are interested in more explanation about this. I put my findings on my blog. Read it here: http://energyisflowing.nl/eng/2016/11/02/craniosacral-therapy-and-alzheimers/

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