Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that affects the judgment, memory, and behavior of elderly individuals. A progressive illness, it deteriorates their mental capacity and requires them to receive a high degree of care as they age. Researchers have, for decades, been looking for a cure for this disease. To date, Alzheimer’s remains an incurable condition; however, there are treatment options that can slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life of elderly individuals. One popular treatment method is vitamin E. As an antioxidant, vitamin E is thought to protect brain cells, as well as other tissue, from chemical damage.

The use of vitamin E was first sparked by a study carried out by the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS). ADCS is the research division of the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Released in 1997, the initiative revealed that vitamin E, when administered in high doses, could delay the progression of the condition. This resulted in the ability of elderly individuals to continue to carry out activities of daily living for a longer period of time. Additionally, it allowed families to put off the placement of their loved ones in elder care communities for numerous months.
Although vitamin E has been shown to slow Alzheimer’s disease, it can also be very dangerous. Studies conducted after the aforementioned 1997 study have revealed that an increased risk of death is associated with high doses of the vitamin. This was particularly true for individuals who also suffered from coronary artery disease.

For this reason, it is important that elderly individuals do not take vitamin E for Alzheimer’s disease unless they are doing so according to doctor’s orders. When taken under the supervision of a trained, experienced healthcare professional, vitamin E can assist in treating this condition; however, the treatment offers too high a risk to be taken independently.

The dementia care professionals in Durham, North Carolina, are dedicated to assisting seniors and their families in coping with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s care providers encourage elderly individuals to follow the treatment directions provided by their doctors in an effort to slow the progression of the illness and enjoy more time with their loved ones.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info. These will really help everyone who read this understand that AD makes it difficult for seniors to convey the whatever physical changes or discomfort they feel. People around older adults, especially those with Alzheimer's disease, should be more sensitive to the changes and needs of these seniors.

    Alzheimer specialist