Treating Alzheimer’s

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.

However, there are some treatments that help manage the symptoms, according to the National Institute on AgingTrusted Source.

Some drugs approved the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are most effective for people in the early or middle stages of Alzheimer’s. They help control or reduce some of the behavioral and cognitive symptoms of dementia. They include:

These medications lose effectiveness over time. Changing medications does not typically work to improve how well they work. However, some people respond better to one drug or another.

Two immunotherapy medications are also approved by the FDA – lecanemab and aducanumab, both of which target early symptoms.

Inflammation and dementia

review of studies published in 2022 found that systemic inflammation, partly influenced by gut microbiota, could lead to as well as worsen the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Diets, such as the MIND diet, can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, according to the National Institute on AgingTrusted Source.

“The MIND diet has been shown to reduce Alzheimer’s risk, dementia, and cognitive decline,” said Anne Danahy, a registered dietitian nutrition with a master’s degree in food and nutrition science. “It’s a mashup of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, which are also anti-inflammatory diet patterns, but the MIND diet seems to be even more beneficial for brain health than either one of those diets alone.”

Danahy told Medical News Today the MIND diet is “extremely flexible and easy to follow. She listed the suggested guidelines from this eating plan:

  • 3+ servings a day of whole grains (oats, wild rice, quinoa, millet, whole grain bread)
  • 6+ servings a week of green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, arugula, Swiss chard, etc)
  • 1+ servings a day of any other kind of vegetable
  • 2+ servings a week of berries
  • 5+ servings a week of nuts (a serving is about a handful)
  • 4+ meals a week of beans
  • 2+ meals a week of poultry
  • 1+ meals a week of fish (preferably fatty fish like salmon or sardines
  • Olive oil

She also recommended reducing the amount of these foods:

  • Pastries and sweets
  • Red meat (including beef, pork, lamb, and products made from these meats)
  • Fried foods
  • Cheese
  • Butter/stick margarine

“Another important inflammation booster is chronic stress, so anyone who feels like they’re in that constant fight-or-flight state should work on ways to reduce stress,” Danahy added.

She said it’s important to try various techniques to find out what works best for you. She recommended these activities:

“One other thing to add is that following an anti-inflammatory diet pattern and reducing stress are not only good for your brain but they are also associated with a more diverse microbiota,” Danahy noted.