Exit

Health Condition

Alzheimer’s Disease

About This Condition

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that occurs in the later years of life. People with Alzheimer's disease develop progressive loss of memory and gradually lose the ability to function and to take care of themselves.

The cause of this disorder is not known, although the problem appears to involve abnormal breakdown of acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter in the brain). Some studies suggest it may be related to an accumulation of aluminum in the brain. Despite this suggestion, aluminum toxicity has been studied in humans, and it is quite distinct from Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the importance of aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s disease remains an unresolved issue.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include a pattern of forgetfulness, short attention span, difficulty in performing routine tasks, language problems, disorientation, poor judgment, problems with thinking, misplacing things, depression, irritability, paranoia, hostility, and lack of initiative.

References

1. Pettegrew JW, Klunk WE, Panchalingam K, et al. Clinical and neurochemical effects of acetyl-L-carnitine in Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiol Aging 1995;16:1-4.

2. Salvioli G, Neri M. L-acetylcarnitine treatment of mental decline in the elderly. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1994;20:169-76.

3. Rai G, Wright G, Scott L, et al. Double-blind, placebo controlled study of acetyl-l-carnitine in patients with Alzheimer's dementia. Curr Med Res Opin 1990;11:638-47.

4. Sano M, Bell K, Cote L, et al. Double-blind parallel design pilot study of acetyl levocarnitine in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Arch Neurol 1992;49:1137-41.

5. Cucinotta D et al. Multicenter clinical placebo-controlled study with acetyl-L-carnitine (LAC) in the treatment of mildly demented elderly patients. Drug Development Res 1988;14:213-6.

6. Bonavita E. Study of the efficacy and tolerability of L-acetylcarnitine therapy in the senile brain. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24:511-6.

7. Thal LJ, Carta A, Clarke WR, et al. A 1-year multi-center placebo-controlled study of aceyl-L-carnitine in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neurology 1996;47:705-11.

8. Calvani M, Carta A, Caruso G, et al. Action of acetyl-L-carnitine in neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease. Ann NY Acad Sci 1992;663:483-6.

9. Le Bars PL, Katz MM, Berman N, et al. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial of an extract of Ginkgo biloba for dementia. North American EGb Study Group. JAMA 1997;278:1327-32.

10. Hofferberth B. The efficacy of EGb 761 in patients with senile dementia of the Alzheimer type, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on different levels of investigation. Hum Psychopharmacol 1994;9:215-22.

11. Kanowski S, Herrmann W, Stephan K, et al. Proof of efficacy of the Ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761 in outpatients suffering from mild to moderate primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer type or multi-infarct dementia. Pharmacopsychiatry 1996;29:47-56.

12. Maurer K, Ihl R, Dierks T, Frolich L. Clinical efficacy of Ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761 in dementia of the Alzheimer's type. J Psychiatr Res 1997;31:645-55.

13. Bachinskaya N, Hoerr R, Ihl R. Alleviating neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia: the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761. Findings from a randomized controlled trial. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat 2011;7:209-15.

14. Mazza M, Capuano A, Bria P, Mazza S. Ginkgo biloba and donepezil: a comparison in the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia in a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study. Eur J Neurol 2006;13:981-5.

15. van Dongen M, van Rossum E, Kessels A, et al. The efficacy of ginkgo for elderly people with dementia and age-associated memory impairment: New results of a randomized clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc 2000;48:1183-94.

16. Wettstein A. Cholinesterase inhibitors and Ginkgo extracts-are they comparable in the treatment of dementia? Comparison of published placebo-controlled efficacy studies of at least six months' duration. Phytomedicine 2000;6:393-401.

17. DeKosky ST, Williamson JD, Fitzpatrick AL, et al. Ginkgo biloba for prevention of dementia: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2008;300:2253-62.

18. Xu SS, Gao ZX, Weng Z, et al. Efficacy of tablet huperzine-A on memory, cognition, and behavior in Alzheimer's disease. Chung Kuo Yao Li Hsueh Pao 1995;16:391-5.

19. Zhang RW, Tang XC, Han YY, et al. Drug evaluation of huperzine A in the treatment of senile memory disorders. Chung Kuo Yao Li Hsueh Pao 1991;12:250-2 [in Chinese].

20. Wang Z, Ren G, Zhao Y, et al. A double-blind study of huperzine A and piracetam in patients with age-associated memory impairment and dementia. In: Kanba S, Richelson E (eds). Herbal Medicines for Nonpsychiatric Diseases. Tokyo: Seiwa Shoten Publishers, 1999, 39-50.

21. Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M, et al. Melissa officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2003;74:863-6.

22. Wade AG, Farmer M, Harari G, et al. Add-on prolonged-release melatonin for cognitive function and sleep in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a 6-month, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Clin Interv Aging 2014;9:947–61.

23. Thal LJ, Salmon DP, Lasker B, et al. The safety and lack of efficacy of vinpocetine in Alzheimer's disease. J Am Geriatr Soc 1989;37:515-20.

24. Fischhof PK, Moslinger-Gehmayr R, Herrmann WM, et al. Therapeutic efficacy of vincamine in dementia. Neuropsychobiology 1996;34:29-35.

25. Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M, et al. Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther 2003;28:53-9.

26. Eder L, Hirt L, Dunant Y. Possible involvement of thiamine in acetylcholine release. Nature 1976;264:186-8.

27. Eder L, Dunant Y, Loctin F. Thiamine and cholinergic transmission in the electric organ of Torpedo. J Neurochem 1980;35:1278-96.

28. Gibson GE, Sheu KF, Blass JP, et al. Reduced activities of thiamine-dependent enzymes in the brains and peripheral tissues of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Arch Neurol 1988;45:836-40.

29. Meador K, Loring D, Nichols M, et al. Preliminary findings of high-dose thiamine in dementia of Alzheimer's type. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol 1993;6:222-9.

30. Blass JP, Gleason P, Brush D, et al. Thiamine and Alzheimer's disease. A pilot study. Arch Neurol 1988;45:833-5.

31. Nolan KA, Black RS, Sheu KF, et al. A trial of thiamine in Alzheimer's disease. Arch Neurol 1991;48:81-3.

32. Morris MC, Beckett LA, Scherr PA, et al. Vitamin E and vitamin C supplement use and risk of incident Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 1998;12:121-6.

33. Schmidt R, Hayn M, Reinhart B, et al. Plasma antioxidants and cognitive performance in middle-aged and older adults: results of the Austrian Stroke Prevention Study. J Am Geriatr Soc 1998;46:1407-10.

34. Lethem R, Orrell M. Antioxidants and dementia. Lancet 1997;349:1189-90 [commentary].

35. Sano M, Ernesto C, Thomas RG, et al. A controlled trial of selegiline, alpha-tocopherol, or both as treatment for Alzheimer's disease. N Engl J Med 1997;336:1216-22.

36. Dysken MW, Sano M, Asthana S, et al. Effect of vitamin E and memantine on functional decline in Alzheimer disease: the TEAM-AD VA cooperative randomized trial. JAMA 2014;311:33-44.

37. Lee ST, Chu K, Sim JY, et al. Panax ginseng enhances cognitive performance in Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2008;22:222-6.

38. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Pharmacol 1997;29:S359-S365.

39. Singh HK, Rastogi RP, Srimal RC, Dhawan BN. Effect of bacosides A and B on avoidance responses in rats. Phytother Res 1988;2:70-5.

40. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Effect of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi) extract on avoidance responses in rat. J Ethnopharmacol 1982;5:205-14.

41. Sharma R, Chaturvedi C, Tewari PV. Efficacy of Bacopa monniera in revitalizing intellectual functions in children. J Res Edu Ind Med 1987:1:12.

42. Roodenrys S, Booth D, Bulzomi S, et al. Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002;27:279-81.

43. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology 2001;156:481-4.

44. Nathan PJ, Clarke J, Lloyd J, et al. The acute effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy normal subjects. Hum Psychopharmacol 2001;16:345-51.

45. Imagawa M, Naruse S, Tsuji S, et al. Coenzyme Q10, iron, and vitamin B6 in genetically-confirmed Alzheimer's disease. Lancet 1992;340:671 [letter].

46. Hillen T, Lun A, Reischies FM, et al. DHEA-S plasma levels and incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Biol Psychiatry 2000;47:161-3.

47. Nasman B, Olsson T, Backstrom T, et al. Serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in Alzheimer's disease and in multi-infarct dementia. Biol Psychiatry 1991;30:684-90.

48. Sunderland T, Merril CR, Harrington MG, et al. Reduced plasma dehydroepiandrosterone concentrations in Alzheimer's disease. Lancet 1989;2:570.

49. Yanase T, Fukahori M, Taniguchi S, et al. Serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-S) in Alzheimer's disease and in cerebrovascular dementia. Endocr J 1996;43:119-23.

50. Birkenhager-Gillesse EG, Derksen J, Lagaay AM. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) in the oldest old, aged 85 and over. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1994;719:543-52.

51. Schneider LS, Hinsey M, Lyness S. Plasma dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in Alzheimer's disease. Biol Psychiatry 1992;31:205-8.

52. Wolkowitz OM, Kramer JH, Reus VI, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone (NPI-34133) treatment of Alzheimer's disease: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC, May 15-20, 1999.

53. Dukoff R, Molchan S, Putnam K, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone administration in demented patients and non-demented elderly volunteers. Biol Psychiatry 1999;46:1533-41.

54. Ferris SH, Sathananthan G, Gershon S, et al. Senile dementia. Treatment with Deanol. J Am Geriatr Soc 1977;25:241-4.

55. Fisman M, Mersky H, Helmes E. Double-blind trial of 2-dimethylaminoethanol in Alzheimer's disease. Am J Psychiatry 1981;138:970-2.

56. Freund-Levi Y, Eriksdotter-Jonhagen M, Cederholm T, et al. Omega-3 fatty acid treatment in 174 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease: OmegAD study: a randomized double-blind trial. Arch Neurol 2006;63:1402-8.

57. Clarke R, Smith D, Jobst KA, et al. Folate, vitamin B12, and serum total homocysteine levels in confirmed Alzheimer disease. Arch Neurol 1998;55:1449-55.

58. Snowdon DA, Tully CL, Smith CD, et al. Serum folate and the severity of atrophy of the neocortex in Alzheimer disease: findings from the Nun study. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:993-8.

59. Joosten E, Lesaffre E, Riezler R, et al. Is metabolic evidence for vitamin B-12 and folate deficiency more frequent in elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease? J Gastroenterol 1997;52A:M76-M79.

60. Ebly EM, Schaefer JP, Campbell NR, Hogan DB. Folate status, vascular disease and cognition in elderly Canadians. Age Ageing 1998;27:485-91.

61. Little A, Levy R, Chuaqui-Kidd P, Hand D. A double-blind, placebo controlled trial of high-dose lecithin in Alzheimer's disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1985;48:736-42.

62. Gauthier S, Bouchard R, Lamontagne A, et al. Tetrahydroaminoacridine-lecithin combination treatment in patients with intermediate-stage Alzheimer's disease. Results of a Canadian double-blind, crossover, multicenter study. N Engl J Med 1990;322:1272-6.

63. Chatellier G, Lacomblez L. Tacrine (tetrahydroaminoacridine; THA) and lecithin in senile dementia of the Alzheimer type: a multicentre trial. Groupe Francais d'Etude de la Tetrahydroaminoacridine. BMJ 1990;300:495-9.

64. Fitten LJ, Perryman KM, Gross PL, et al. Treatment of Alzheimer's disease with short- and long-term oral THA and lecithin: a double-blind study. Am J Psychiatry 1990;147:239-42.

65. Eagger SA, Levy R, Sahakian BJ. Tacrine in Alzheimer's disease. Lancet 1991;338:50-1 [letter; comment].

66. Birkmayer JGD. Coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide: New therapeutic approach for improving dementia of the Alzheimer type. Ann Clin Lab Sci 1996;26:1-9.

67. Crook T, Petrie W, Wells C, Massari DC. Effects of phosphatidylserine in Alzheimer's disease. Psychopharmacol Bull 1992;28:61-6.

68. Amaducci L. Phosphatidylserine in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease: results of a multicenter study. Psychopharmacol Bull 1988;24:130-4.

69. Engel RR, Satzger W, Gunther W, et al. Double-blind cross-over study of phosphatidylserine vs. placebo in patients with early dementia of the Alzheimer type. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 1992;2:149-55.

70. Heiss WD, Kessler J, Mielke R, et al. Long-term effects of phosphatidylserine, pyritinol, and cognitive training in Alzheimer's disease. A neuropsychological, EEG, and PET investigation. Dementia 1994;5:88-98.

71. Gindin J, Novikov M, Kedar D, et al. The effect of plant phosphatidylserine on age-associated memory impairment and mood in the functioning elderly. Rehovot, Israel: Geriatric Institute for Education and Research, and Department of Geriatrics, Kaplan Hospital, 1995.

72. Jorissen BL, Brouns F, Van Boxtel MPJ, et al. The influence of soy-derived phosphatidylserine on cognition in age-associated memory impairment. Nutr Neurosci 2001;4:121-34.

73. Hishikawa N, Takahashi Y, Amakusa Y, et al. Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer's disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Ayu 2012;33:499-504.

74. Clarke R, Smith D, Jobst KA, et al. Folate, vitamin B12, and serum total homocysteine levels in confirmed Alzheimer disease. Arch Neurol 1998;55:1449-55.

75. Snowdon DA, Tully CL, Smith CD, et al. Serum folate and the severity of atrophy of the neocortex in Alzheimer disease: findings from the Nun study. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:993-8.

76. Joosten E, Lesaffre E, Riezler R, et al. Is metabolic evidence for vitamin B-12 and folate deficiency more frequent in elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease? J Gastroenterol 1997;52A:M76-M79.

77. Ebly EM, Schaefer JP, Campbell NR, Hogan DB. Folate status, vascular disease and cognition in elderly Canadians. Age Ageing 1998;27:485-91.

78. Grant WB. Dietary links to Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer Dis Rev 1997;2:42-55.

79. Smith MA, Petot GJ, Perry G. Diet and oxidative stress: a novel synthesis of epidemiological data on Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer Dis Rev 1997;2:58-9.

80. Kalmijn S, Lauher LJ, Ott A, et al. Dietary fat intake and the risk of incident dementia in the Rotterdam study. Ann Neurol 1997;42:776-82.

81. Munoz DG. Is exposure to aluminum a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer disease?—No. Arch Neurol 1998;55:737-9.

82. Forbes WF, Hill GB. Is exposure to aluminum a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer disease?—Yes. Arch Neurol 1998;55:740-1.

83. Rogers MA, Simon DG. A preliminary study of dietary aluminium intake and risk of Alzheimer's disease. Age Ageing 1999;28:205-9.

84. Grant WB. Dietary links to Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer Dis Rev 1997;2:42-55.

85. Smith MA, Petot GJ, Perry G. Diet and oxidative stress: a novel synthesis of epidemiological data on Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer Dis Rev 1997;2:58-9.

86. Kalmijn S, Lauher LJ, Ott A, et al. Dietary fat intake and the risk of incident dementia in the Rotterdam study. Ann Neurol 1997;42:776-82.

87. Friedland R. American Academy of Neurology's 52nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, April 29-May 6, 2000.

Copyright © 2018 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

Drugs used to treat ALZHEIMERS DISEASE. Select drug name to view medication information and pricing