Memory and thinking
Drug therapy available in Ireland
As researchers have learned more about how Alzheimer's Disease affects the brain, new treatments have been developed. We have not yet reached the stage where the disease can be prevented or cured. However, there are treatments available in Ireland that can help to manage the symptoms and delay progression of the disease.
Early diagnosis is very important in terms of availing of the current treatments. Knowing and recognising the symptoms can also give the individual and carer time to consider practical issues, such as management of money and other assets and the difficult question of power of attorney.
Treatment is always individualised, as no two people will have the same symptoms or the same progress of disease. Each medication has its own advantages and these will be discussed by your GP. Treatments can offer improvement is a number of areas.
Memory and thinking
Memory loss and forgetfulness are early symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease and often will often be accepted as part of the ageing process. Everyone can forget a name or a face occasionally but memory problems are more frequent and severe for the person with Alzheimer's Disease. Treatments can help with memory and retaining information for longer.
People with Alzheimer's can find even the most routine task quite difficult. Household chores, dressing, preparing meals, managing money and even using the phone can prove a problem. Medication may help people to continue their routine activities and to live independently for longer.
Alzheimer's Disease can affect behaviour in many ways. Hallucinations, wandering, aggression and moodiness are common. Medication may ease these symptoms and in turn, enable the person to remain at home for longer, delaying the need for full-time residential care.
Drug therapies available in Ireland
Pfizer Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) belongs to a group of medicines called the acetycholinesterase inhibitors. It is used to treat the symptoms of dementia in people diagnosed with having mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's Disease.
Novartis Exelon (rivastigmine) is also an acetycholinesterase inhibitor. It is used to treatment mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's Disease.
Shire Reminyl (galantamine) is an acetycholinesterase inhibitor. It is used to treat mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's Disease.
Lundbeck Ebixa (memantine hydrochloride) belongs to a group of medicines called the NMDA receptor antagonists. It is used to treat moderately severe to severe Alzheimer's Disease.