Potential treatment options are listed below in order from most effective to least effective, as determined by TeddyCanHeal's advanced software. Not every treatment will work for everyone, so talk to your doctor to determine what will be best for your individual needs. Many treatments may also be used in combination with one another or with medication.
Turmeric is an herb and spice that is also an important part of traditional Indian and Chinese medicine. In those cultures, it is recommended as a treatment for a variety of ailments, including wounds, inflammation, asthma, cramps, and high cholesterol.
It is also used as a treatment for Alzheimer's, presumably because of its antioxidant properties (see the chapter on Vitamin E for a more in-depth discussion of the benefits of antioxidants for those with neurodegenerative disorders). Many believe that the comparatively low incidence of Alzheimer's disease in India is due to the consumption of large amounts of turmeric as part of their diet.
Even when consumed in large quantities, turmeric has few side-effects, and it can easily be incorporated into the diet through foods such as curry. Taken together, this makes turmeric a great non-drug treatment option for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia in general.
Turmeric's medical properties have garnered a lot of interest in the scientific community in the past decade, with multiple studies looking into its reported benefits as a treatment for Alzheimer's. A study conducted in 2012 looked at the impact of adding turmeric to the diet of three patients suffering from severe Alzheimers and dementia symptoms. All three showed notable improvements in their symptoms with no visible side-effects, and continued the treatment for a full year without showing any signs of relapse.
Other studies have centered specifically around curcumin and its close relatives (collectively known as curcuminoids), which are a key component of turmeric and are believed to be the source of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In 2009, researchers looked at curcumins antioxidant properties in mice, particularly its ability to ward off oxidative stress and protect the brain. They found that it was indeed effective at preventing cognitive deficits. The same year, another study investigated the ability of curcuminoids to enhance memory, as well as their ability to inhibit the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (which is the major function of many of the Alzheimer's drugs on the market today). Their findings showed that the curcuminoids did in fact inhibit acetylcholinesterase and improve memory. The authors of both studies concluded that curcuminoids seem like promising treatment options.
Marijuana has been used for medical purposes for more than 5,000 years. While it is a controversial subject, many doctors still recommend it to treat a variety of ailments, including insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, migraine, arthritis, and even cancer. It also has calming, soothing effects which allows patients to relax and can help mitigate agitation and negative behaviors. Preliminary research into some of its active ingredients has shown that it could also help reduce inflammation and the accumulation of harmful substances in the brain, both of which have major implications for those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
Laws regarding the use of medical marijuana vary by state, but a simple Google search should be able to tell you whether this treatment is available where you live.
There are various types and strains of medical marijuana, each focused on treating specific symptoms. Your doctor can help you find the right one for you or your loved one when you go to get a prescription. Medical marijuana can be ingested or smoked, with ingestion generally leading to slower but longer lasting effects, and smoking giving more immediate results.
It should also, of course, be noted that marijuana can be addictive, so caution should be exercised when using it.
Because of marijuana's controversial nature, it is difficult for scientists to get permission to study it, and thus there is a lack of formal scientific studies on even medicinal marijuana's effects. However, a study in 2008 did investigate the beneficial effects that one of its main components (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinoil, or TCH for short) could have for those with Alzheimer's. They found that TCH helped to substantially reduce the activity of an enzyme associated with the disease, and also prevented the accumulation of harmful substances in the brain. The authors concluded by saying that TCH and other chemicals like it have the potential to be highly effective therapies for those with Alzheimer's, helping to both treat the disease's symptoms and slow its progression.