Symptomatic non-drug therapy
The stabilization of mental abilities through intellectual and physical exercise has been demonstrated for healthy older people. For this reason, people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease should participate in an activation programme appropriate to their level of performance, such as physiotherapy, stress-free brain training (brain jogging) and playful sports activities, in order to stabilise their existing abilities. Although it is sensible and desirable to train everyday functions in a family environment, impatience and excessive demands can lead to increased withdrawal by the patient.
It is therefore recommended to take part in an optimal physical and mental activation therapy in a specialized day clinic or in a special outpatient clinic. Just as important as the treatment of the patient is the consultation and training of the relatives. An essential goal is to learn to understand the limited living environment of the patients in order to avoid excessive demands and find meaningful activities for the patients.
Since the disease, due to its severe course, represents an immense psychological burden for the relatives, it is important that there is a connection to specialized day hospitals or other counseling centers. Likewise, the question of nursing, care and accommodation of the patient should best be clarified at an early stage. Since there are indications that inflammation can also be the partial cause of the development of Alzheimer’s, a positive influence of anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin (ASS 100) is being discussed.
It is assumed that the intake must be started very early and continued for a few years (>2 years) in order to prove a reduction of the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. New hopes are placed in a vaccination against amyloid protein, which is deposited in large quantities in the brain in Alzheimer’s dementia. After encouraging results in mice, experiments in humans had to be discontinued due to inflammatory reactions in the brain.
Nevertheless, studies in animals are being continued and will hopefully come to a positive result. Risk factors for vascular diseases should generally be avoided or treated. The stabilization of mental abilities through intellectual and physical exercise has been proven for healthy elderly people. It follows that physical and mental activity can generally reduce the risk of developing dementia syndrome.