Doctors still have quite a bit to learn about Alzheimer’s disease, but studies have shown this disorder is partially caused by plaques inside the brain. These bundles of protein destroy neural pathways and mangle healthy cells. Some researchers believe taking a low-dose aspirin every day might break apart existing plaques and prevent additional plaques from forming. In the near future, low-dose aspirin may be a common preventative treatment for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders. Here is what you need to know about the use of aspirin for Alzheimer’s treatment.
Alzheimer’s and Protein Plaques
The human brain is filled with toxic proteins that clump together in structures known as plaques. Alzheimer’s disease prevents the brain from breaking apart and metabolizing the toxic proteins. Various tactics can be used to minimize the impact these proteins have on the brain, but the plaques may kill off millions of brain and nerve cells. When the brain can no longer replace these cells, the individual begins to notice symptoms such as memory loss and mood swings.
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Daily aspirin therapy has become very popular over the last few decades, and long-term studies have shown that this medication can boost cardiovascular health. When taken regularly, aspirin prevents certain cells from clumping together, which is one of the reasons heart doctors often recommend taking low-dose aspirin once a day. The active ingredients sometimes break apart blood clots before they reach the heart. Recent studies have revealed that aspirin might break apart clumps of protein in the brain as well.
Research from Rush University Medical Center
A team of researchers led by Dr. Kalipada Pahan has been testing aspirin therapy on genetically modified mice with Alzheimer’s disease. After being administered aspirin for just over a month, some of the brain plaques inside the mice began to disappear. The next step in this process will be testing various doses of aspirin to see which produces the best results. Some researchers believe higher doses may further break apart the plaques and flush out larger clumps of protein. Human studies aren’t expected to begin for at least a few years.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most serious health issues among older adults. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Carmichael elderly care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
Other Treatment Methods
Aspirin is just one of the many potential Alzheimer’s treatments that may be available in the near future. For now, older adults should do everything in their power to preserve their cognitive abilities, which includes exercising, sticking to a healthy diet, managing stress levels, and getting plenty of sleep every night. Seniors might also want to try out neurobic exercises to boost their brain health. Neurobic exercises essentially create new neural pathways in the brain, enhancing its efficiency. Some of the most popular neurobic exercises include brushing the teeth with the non-dominant hand, taking a new route to work, and trying out new foods.
Caring for an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease can negatively impact a family caregiver’s health. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Carmichael families who want to avoid burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Whether your aging parent needs respite or live-in care, give us a call at (916) 485-4663 today.