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Healing the Mind: Homeopathic Remedies for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a destructive brain disorder that worsens as time progresses. It is characterized by changes in the brain that lead to deposits of specific amino proteins. It usually causes the brain cells to shrink and eventually die. It is the most common reason for dementia, a gradual decline in a person’s memory, thinking, behavior, and social skills. These changes affect a person’s ability to perform essential functions typically.

About 55 million people all over the world have dementia. Around 60% to 70% are estimated to be identified with Alzheimer’s disease. Most of them, about 70%, are 75 years old and older.  

No treatments are available to cure or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. In the last stages, severe brain function loss, dehydration, malnutrition, infection, and other related respiratory infections can result in death.

How does Alzheimer’s disease present?

Declining memory is the most common and early symptom of Alzheimer’s. Some changes in memory are expected as we grow older, but the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are more than simple lapses in memory. People with Alzheimer’s experience difficulties communicating, learning, thinking, and reasoning severe enough to impact an individual’s work, social activities, and family life.

While it is very typical to forget appointments, names, or telephone numbers, once in a while, those with Alzheimer’s will forget such things more often and not remember them later. In addition, people with ordinary forgetfulness can still remember other facts associated with what they have failed. For instance, they may briefly forget their next-door neighbor’s name, but they still know the person they are talking to is their next-door neighbor. However, a person with dementia will fail to understand their neighbor’s name and the context.

Individuals with AD begin to misplace everyday items, such as car keys or eyeglasses, and become disoriented and need guidance in familiar surroundings on well-known streets. With Alzheimer’s, an individual might find it challenging to perform even routine tasks and forget the steps for doing certain household chores, using a household appliance, or putting clothes on.

A person with Alzheimer’s disease often forgets simple words or substitutes unusual words, making their speech or writing hard to understand. In addition, individuals with Alzheimer’s often judge poorly on money and mathematics.

People’s personalities ordinarily change somewhat with age. But a person with Alzheimer’s can vary greatly, becoming extremely confused, suspicious, fearful, or dependent on a family member. Alzheimer’s may become unusually emotional and experience rapid mood swings for no apparent reason. Alternatively, a person with Alzheimer’s may show less emotion than usual. In addition, they may experience delusions and hallucinations.

In the terminal phase, Alzheimer’s patient enters a world where he can recognize nothing, neither family members, friends, or himself.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

Memory loss is one of the main signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The Early signs and symptoms are forgetfulness, problems with thinking, reasoning, etc. As memory worsens, other symptoms develop and worsen as the disease progresses.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) vary based on the condition’s progress. However, in general, the symptoms and signs of Alzeimer’s lead to a gradual decline in some or most, or all of the following functions such as :

  • Reasoning and handling of complex tasks.
  • Language and memory.
  • Understanding space and time. 
  • Behavior, character, and personality.
  • People with memory loss or other signs of Alzheimer’s may have difficulty recognizing their mental decline. However, these signs may be more evident to the family and loved ones if anyone experiencing dementia-like symptoms should see a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

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Other symptoms are:

  • Multiple strokes.
  • Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative nerve disorder that causes tremors and mental decline.
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus, which is excess fluid around the brain.
  • Deficiency of B1\B2\B6\pantothenic acid\folic acid\ niacin\biotin\Cobalamin is the general name for vitamin B12, vitamin B12.
  • Hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormone.
  • Alcoholism and drug abuse.
  • Infectious diseases that cause brain degeneration, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, viral infections, or fungal infections.
  • Depression.
  • Medication’s side effects or drug interactions.
  • Brain tumors.

Symptoms of mild-stage Alzheimer’s disease

The symptoms of Alzeimer’s become noticeable in the soft phase. 

The earliest symptom in this phase forgets recent information, events, places, and names.

  • They need help finding the right ways and words to express their thoughts.
  • Losing things or misplacing objects
  • He needs help in making plans or organizing.
  • Need help in problem-solving.
  • Taking longer to complete routine daily tasks.
  • Most people with AD stage have no problem recognizing familiar faces and usually can go to familiar places.

Symptoms of the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s disease 

The intermediate stage is the longest and may last for years. Patients in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s require some care and assistance from others.

People in this stage may:

  • There is much decline in memory and lots of confusion; they need to remember the expected events or specific details about their personal life.
  • They need clarification about the day of the week, the season they’re in, and where they are.
  • They need better short-term memory.
  • They need some help recognizing their friends and family.
  • They keep repeating the stories, thoughts, or events in their minds.
  • They need help with simple math and analysis.
  • They also need help with personal care, such as bathing, showering, and using the toilet.
  • They experience more personality changes, including being agitated or acting out. 
  • They may fall into depression and develop apathy or anxiety as the disease progress.
  • They become suspicious about their family, friends, and everyone.
  • They develop urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence.
  • Have sleep disturbances.
  • Begin to wander from their living area.

Symptoms of the severe stage of Alzheimer’s disease

During the final stages of Alzheimer’s, the symptoms get severe and need extensive hospitalized healthcare.

In this stage, the person 

  • almost has total memory loss.
  • They are unaware of their surroundings.
  • They might need help with basic living, like eating, sitting, walking, etc.
  • They lose their ability to communicate. 
  • The speech gets limited to a few words or phrases.
  • They become more vulnerable to infections, especially pneumonia and skin infections.
  • It is crucial to begin Hospice care for appropriate treatment and comfort.

What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

An abnormal build-up of excessive proteins in the brain tissues leads to Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the unwanted build-up of these amyloid proteins, tau proteins, etc., causes the death of brain cells.

The human brain is complex and contains over 100 billion nerve cells and supporting cells. These cells work together for proper signaling and communications vital to performing functions like thinking, learning, memory, and strategizing.

Many scientists insist that the amyloid protein build-up in the brain for large clusters called plaques. Another theory is that the twisted nerve fibers of another protein called tau form tangles. Such plaques and tangles block the communication between the nerve cells, stopping them from sending signals to carry out their functions. This slow and silent death of nerve cells leads to Alzheimer’s disease. The cell death begins in one area of the brain and then spreads to other sites.

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Despite ongoing research, scientists still need to learn what causes these proteins to build up. So far, they believe a genetic mutation may cause early-onset Alzheimer’s. They think late-onset Alzheimer’s happens due to complex brain changes that may occur over decades. Genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors are likely contributing to the cause.

Probable causes of Alzheimer’s disease

The pathophysiology and the aetiopathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease are unclear though various theories, research, and studies are being conducted daily. It is said that family history and genetics play a vital role in the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. In Alzheimer’s, the brain cells are damaged, progressively worsening. The risk factors predisposing to Alzheimer’s disease are old age, head trauma, positive family history of Alzheimer’s disease, and high blood pressure. The progressive death of brain cells characterizes Alzheimer’s disease. 

It results from two abnormal structures in the brain: Amyloid plaques and clumps of altered proteins inside cells.

How is Alzheimer’s disease treated?

Medical management can improve the quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, as there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Treatment addresses several areas:

  • Helping people maintain brain health.
  • Managing behavioral symptoms.
  • Slowing or delaying symptoms of the disease.
  • Support for family and friends
  • There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s. However, some medications can help to slow down the worsening of dementia symptoms temporarily. In addition, certain drugs and other medical interventions can help with behavioral changes.
  • Commencing the treatment as early as possible for Alzheimer’s patients may help them perform their daily routine activities for a while. However, current medications cannot stop or reverse the damage done by Alzheimer’s disease.
  • As Alzheimer’s affects everyone in different ways, the treatment also differs. Healthcare providers work with Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers to provide the best medicine.
  • At present, two types of drugs to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are:
  • Cholinesterase inhibitors.
  • NMDA antagonists.

Some of the changes accompanied by Alzheimer’s disease are:

All kinds of memory loss

Everyone experiences a lapse in memory and judgment sometimes typically, but the memory loss accompanied by Alzheimer’s disease is persistent that keeps worsening. For instance, people who have Alzheimer’s disease may:

  • Keep repeating a statement or a question over and again.
  • They need to remember recent conversations, specific appointments, or family events.
  • As a result, they need to find the items, often in the wrong or irrelevant spaces.
  • They also tend to get lost in places they are well used for a long time.
  • And then the real trouble begins, which may be disheartening to anyone. They must remember to get the names of family members and everyday objects.
  • Constant help from a healthcare provider or support would be needed to find the right words for things, express thoughts, or participate in others’ discussions.

Reduction of thinking and reasoning powers

Alzheimer’s causes difficulty concentrating and thinking, especially about many mathematical concepts.

For example, managing finances, balancing checkbooks, and paying bills on time may be challenging. 

Eventually, a person with Alzheimer’s cannot deal with businesses or transactions.

Flaws and fallacies in making correct judgments and decision-making.

Alzheimer’s disease causes a steep and gradual decline in the capacity to make sensible decisions and judgments in day-to-day life situations. 

For example, a person may need to make better choices in social settings or wear clothes for the wrong type of weather. In addition, it may become more complicated for someone to respond to everyday problems. 

Also, the person may need to learn how to handle food while cooking, driving a car, etc.

Issues with planning and performing the most familiar work 

Routine activities that need proper order and steps become a big task. Eventually, people with advanced Alzheimer’s disease forget basic tasks such as bathing and dressing up.

Unexpected changes in personality and social behaviors

Brain changes in Alzheimer’s disease can affect a person’s moods and behaviors. Some of the behavioral problems are:

  • Bouts of depression.
  • Loss of interest in once-friendly activities.
  • Social withdrawal from loved ones and friends.
  • Constant mood swings.
  • Constant distrust in others.
  • Aggressive and violent behavior.
  • Change in sleeping habits.
  • Wandering at night.
  • Loss of all kinds of inhibitions.
  • Delusions, suspiciousness, and hallucinations.
  • Despite significant changes to memory and skills, people with Alzheimer’s can still hold on to specific skills even as the disease progress. Some preserved skills may include reading books, listening to music, singing, dancing, drawing, handicrafts, etc.

They are well preserved for a long duration as they’re controlled by a different part of the brain that only gets affected in the later part of Alzheimer’s disease.

What and why do these changes develop in the brain?

Research about these structures has provided clues about why nerve cells die, but scientists have not determined exactly why these changes develop. In short, no one yet knows exactly what causes Alzheimer’s disease. Most researchers agree that the cause may be a complex set of factors. Though Alzheimer’s disease affects individuals in their 40s and 50s, studies have shown that the most significant known risk for developing Alzheimer’s is increasing age. As many as two to four percent of all people around 65 years of age and older have Alzheimer’s. As many as twenty percent or more of the population over 85 have AD. 

A family history of the disease is another known risk. Having a parent or sibling with the illness increases an individual’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Many mysterious diseases have provided interesting clues through genetic studies. Scientists have identified specific genes which are very strongly related to Alzheimer’s.

Many diverse medical theories, including the biochemistry of acetylcholine and neurotransmitters, inflammation, oxidative stress, and free radicals, and homocysteine, nutritional and vitamin deficiencies, as probable causes of Alzheimer’s disease have been put forth. A wide array of risk factors for Alzheimer’s include disorders of blood circulation, hormonal imbalance, head trauma, emotional stress, alcohol abuse, metabolic defects, nutritional deficiencies, and even some infections.

How is the condition diagnosed?

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is essential for getting early interventions, treatment measures, medical care, and social support services. Unfortunately, there is no particular diagnostic test to detect if a person has Alzheimer’s disease. Instead, many tests may take more than a day to get a complete evaluation. The diagnosis may be derived from the following assessment such as:

  • A complete medical history including mental or physical conditions, medications and drug use, and family health history.
  • A mental status evaluation to assess the sense of time and place, analytical skills, to evaluate memory, understanding capacity, and communication skills.
  • A physical examination includes the patient’s nutrition, blood pressure, numbness or sensations, balance, and other neural system functions.
  • Other procedures such as brain CT and MRI to detect any other reason for dementia, such as stroke, and other routine examinations of blood and urine, to check for abnormalities in various components of blood, hormones, enzymes, infections, etc.

Risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease

The primary risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is increased age. As the population ages, the frequency of Alzheimer’s disease continues to grow. Around ten percent of people over 65 and fifty percent of those over 85 years of age have been identified with Alzheimer’s disease, and the numbers keep increasing every day. 

There are also genetic factors to consider in the case of Alzheimer’s disease. Most patients develop Alzheimer’s disease after the age of 70. However, two to five percent of patients develop the condition in the fourth or fifth decade of life. Out of that, at least half of these early-onset patients have inherited gene mutations associated with their Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, the children of a patient with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease also have a fifty percent risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

For instance, a relatively common form of a gene located on chromosome 19 is associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. However, the majority of Alzheimer’s disease patients have no specific genetic risks.

Other risk factors for Alzheimer’s include high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and possibly elevated blood cholesterol. Individuals with less than eight years of education also have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s. These increase the risk of Alzheimer’s but do not mean that Alzheimer’s disease is inevitable in persons with these factors. For example, all patients with Down syndrome will develop brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease by 40 years of age. This fact also led to the amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Complications from Alzheimer’s disease

A person with Alzheimer’s may be unable to discuss their problems and pain with someone. So, it is essential to:

  • First, explain the symptoms of another illness.
  • Then, it is necessary to follow a proper treatment plan.
  • The medicines may cause adverse effects.
  • Brain changes may begin to affect physical activities. 
  • The changes can slowly affect the muscles of the throat and hence the ability to swallow, loss of balance, and loss of control over bowel and bladder movements. Also, these effects can lead to other health problems, like:
  • Aspiration of food particles or any liquid into the airways.
  • Influenza, Pneumonia, and other respiratory infections.
  • Falls and fractures
  • Malnutrition, and dehydration
  • Bedsores.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Teeth and gum diseases
  • Mouth sores or tooth decay.

Memory loss, impairment of speech, faults in judgment, and specific cognitive impairments caused by Alzheimer’s may complicate the treatment for other disease conditions. For example, a person with Alzheimer’s may not be able to:

  • Communicate that they are experiencing pain, such as from a dental problem.
  • Report symptoms of another illness.
  • Follow a prescribed treatment plan.
  • Notice or describe medication side effects.

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses to the last stages, brain changes affect physical functions, such as swallowing food or liquids, body balance, and bowel and bladder control. These inconsistencies can increase the vulnerability to additional health problems such as:

  • Lung aspiration
  • Pneumonia and other infections
  • Falls
  • Fractures
  • Bedsores
  • Malnutrition or dehydration

Prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease

The symptoms and their clinical presentation are not general but differ from person to person. Therefore, it is best to talk to the person’s healthcare provider who specializes in treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Unfortunately, however, the prognosis for Alzheimer’s disease is not so encouraging as there are no proper treatments available to cure the disease. On average, Alzheimer’s patients over 65 die within four to eight years of the diagnosis. But some may even live up to 20 years after the appearance of the symptoms. Common causes of death are:

  • Lung infections like Pneumonia.
  • Malnutrition and dehydration.
  • Other collateral infections.

Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is not a curable nor preventable condition, but the person can lead a life that provides some relief though not much. Some of the studies conducted to prevent this deranging condition are:

  • One study in Finland found that a healthy lifestyle help reduces cognitive decline among people at risk of developing dementia. 
  • Another study from Australia also supports this report, and from there, the people at risk of dementia were given counseling on a healthy diet, exercise, and other healthy lifestyle changes.
  • Some studies have reported that keeping the affected patients’ minds and thought process lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. For this, the patients identified with Alzheimer’s disease are encouraged to attend many social 
  • events, musical programs, reading, dancing, playing board games, creating art, playing an instrument, and other activities.
  • Evidence reports that reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease may also lower the risk of developing dementia.
  • Exercise regularly and anytime.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet full of fresh produce, healthy omega oils low in saturated fat, etc.
  • Follow the treatment guidelines religiously to manage high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol.
  • It would be best if you quit smoking.

The warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal aging process. Memory loss and forgetfulness are typically some of the first signs of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Such signs are:

  • Memory loss disrupts daily life.
  • Getting lost in the most familiar place or repeating the same questions repeatedly.
  • Trouble in handling money and in paying bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work, or leisure.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Misplacing things and needing help to find them.
  • Sudden changes in mood, behavior, or personality.

Homeopathic Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a complicated disorder. Nevertheless, the homeopathy system offers reasonably favorable treatment if not cure. When we discuss the role of medicine for certain diseases, we probably do not talk of the cure in a real sense but more about control and relief. AD is one such condition, where homeopathy has the following role to play:

  • To control the disease process whereby further deterioration of the brain damage is helped to a certain extent.
  • To improve to an extent, some of the symptoms: include communication, failing memory, anxiety, restlessness, etc.
  • Many symptoms associated with dementia, like memory loss, disorientation restlessness, depression, anxiety, and agitation, can be treated effectively and gently with homeopathy. 
  • It may be possible, to treat in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and help to improve memory loss and mental health with certain homeopathic medications. In addition, timely administered homeopathy medicines can prevent further disease progression.
  • Some of the well-known remedies to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are Anacardium, Cannabis Indica, Medorrhinum, Ignatia and Kali Phosphoricum, Alumina

Argentum nitricum, Cicuta virosa, Bacopa monnieri, Baryta carb, Medorrhinum, Graphites, Helleborus, Silica, etc. 

Summary 

It can be much overwhelming to know that our loved one has Alzheimer’s. But proper healthcare, love and affection, and lots of patience can help lead an excellent uneven life. Once it becomes impossible to handle at home, efficient healthcare teams can help you and your loved one go through the process together and give them a proper, respectful farewell. It is also essential to take care of yourself as well. Consider joining support groups or creating your support network to help you.

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