At this time, there is no medical treatment to cure or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA has approved four drugs – donepezil (also known as Aricept™), rivastigmine (also known as Exelon), galantamine hydrobromide (also known as Reminyl), and memantine HCI (also known as Namenda) – that may temporarily improve symptoms related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Aspartame’s role in memory loss is a health concern that has been associated with artificial sweeteners. Several studies have been conducted on aspartame’s effect on cognitive function in both animals and humans. These studies found no scientific evidence of a link between aspartame and memory loss.

Aspartame was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 for use in all foods and beverages. The sweetener, marketed as Nutrasweet® and Equal®, is made by joining two protein components, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, with 10 percent methanol. Methanol is widely found in fruits, vegetables and other plant foods.

Based on current research, getting rid of aluminum cans, pots, and pans will not protect you from Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum is one of 90 naturally occurring chemical elements. It is the third most common element found in the earth’s crust, after oxygen and silicon. The focus of ongoing research is to clarify how aluminum affects the body and whether it is a factor in Alzheimer’s disease.

The exact role (if any) of aluminum in Alzheimer’s disease is still being researched and debated. However, most researchers believe that not enough evidence exists to consider aluminum a risk factor for Alzheimer’s or a cause of dementia.

Several studies have found that Alzheimer’s disease is more common among individuals who have sustained a severe head injury (accompanied by loss of consciousness) during the course of their lives. What remains unclear is whether head trauma is a result of falls during the early stages of Alzheimer’s or whether Alzheimer’s results from an earlier head trauma. Additional research is necessary to fully understand the association between Alzheimer’s disease and head injury.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is a loss of intellectual function (thinking, remembering and reasoning) so severe that it interferes with an individual’s daily functioning and eventually results in death.

At this time, vitamin E is not recommended specifically for the treatment of Alzheimer’s because there is no direct evidence that vitamin E prevents the disease. However, previous research demonstrates that vitamin E has other health benefits and is not harmful if taken in moderation.

Because vitamin E can be associated with increased bleeding in certain individuals, all decisions regarding medications or vitamin supplements should be discussed with a physician.

Alzheimer’s disease occurs in two forms – early-onset and late-onset. The early-onset form of the disease is very rare and mainly affects people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. This form of the disease has been linked to three different genes and has been observed in only 120 families worldwide; individuals who carry one of the early-onset genes will most likely develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Much more common is the late-onset form of the disease, which occurs after age 65, and accounts for more than 90 percent of all cases of Alzheimer’s. It is unclear whether a genetic abnormality, environmental factors, or a combination of both causes this form of the disease.

What is known for certain is that a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s at any given age appears to be increased if he or she has an immediate relative with the disease, such as a brother, sister, or parent.

Yes and no. Everyone has forgotten where they parked the car or the name of an acquaintance at one time or another. And many healthy individuals are less able to remember certain kinds of information as they get older. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are much more severe than such simple memory lapses. Alzheimer symptoms affect communication, learning, thinking, reasoning, and can have an impact on a person’s work and social life.

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