Given the severity of the disease, it is not surprising that people so diagnosed as well as their loved ones are often desperately searching for news of a cure. The current prescription medications available offer little solace and do little to slow disease progression.
I read a recent article about a man duped by a broadcast he watched that presented coconut oil as one such cure. A doctor on the Dr. Oz show offered hyperbaric oxygen therapy as yet another cure. Dr. Mark Hyman told me personally that he has cured Alzheimer's among his patients. I'm not sure there is anything more cruel that handing out false but fleeting hope to hurting people. Today, there simply are no cures for Alzheimer's.
However, there has been progress on the Alzheimer's research front. As discussed, diagnosis has improved. A new animal model has been developed that may prove useful in someday finding a cure. Scientists now better understand how the disease spreads. There is reason for long term hope.
There are some known supplements that seem to have efficacy in cognition decline. As you know, I am not a fan of supplements in general but the science offers some support for these two. Bacopa for cognition and Huperzine A specifically for Alzheimer's. Are they cures? Absolutely not. May they provide some short term relief? Possibly. Their safety profile is not well known so I would only purchase them from a USP or Consumer Lab certified lab. Bacopa is recommended at 150 mg daily. Huperzine A dosages have ranged from 60 to 400 micrograms daily. I would not start these supplements unless under the supervision of a physician.
Do not take either drug if you are pregnant.
Concerns about Bacopa include:
1. Don't take if you have allergies to any member of the Scrophulariaceae (figwort) family.
2. Adverse effects for bacopa may include drowsiness, palpitations, nausea, indigestion, increased bowel movements, abdominal pain, dry mouth, thirst, muscle fatigue, and fatigue.
3. Do not take with drugs or herbs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes.
4. Take under close medical supervision if you have a thyroid disorders, as bacopa may increase thyroid hormone levels.
5. Take under close medical supervision if you take calcium channel blockers, due to the potential for additive effects.
6. Take under close medical supervision if you are taking sedatives, due to the potential for additive effects.
1. Don't take if you have allergies to any member of the Lycopodium family.2. May produce mild-to-moderate nausea and mild and transient ankle edema and insomnia.Close medical supervision is required if taking other acetylcholine inhibitors. May also cause temporary dizziness, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, anorexia, cramps, bradycardia, rash, skin hives, slurred speech, insomnia, excitability, hyperactivity, vision blurring, ankle edema, breathing problems, tightness in the throat or chest, or chest pain.
3. Close medical supervision is required if taking other acetylcholine inhibitors, as adverse effects are potentially additive, in patients with liver disease, as huperzine A appears to undergo hepatic metabolism,in patients with vertigo, as huperzine has been shown to cause dizziness in clinical trials, in patients with asthma, as huperzine A may cause breathing problems and in patients with renal disease, because of the renal excretion of the drug.
As you can read above, these supplements, like prescription medications, have some concerning side effects. So please only use them under close medical supervision.
In the meanwhile, let's all pray for an early cure for this devastating disease we all know as Alzheimer's.