Neurology Specialists located in West Ashley, Charleston, SC, Mt. Pleasant, SC & Goose Creek, SC
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of all cases of dementia. Though there’s currently no cure for this progressive disease, the experienced team at Tidewater Neurology offers a range of medications that improve symptoms and diminish the buildup of proteins that cause Alzheimer’s. The caring team offers ongoing support for Alzheimer’s patients and their families, helping each person to live the highest quality of life for as long as possible. If you or a loved one need help with Alzheimer’s, call the office in Mt. Pleasant, Goose Creek, or the West Ashley area of Charleston, South Carolina, or request an appointment online today.
Alzheimers Q & A
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of progressive dementia that develops as two proteins, tau and amyloid-beta, build up in the brain. The proteins gradually accumulate and form tangles and plaques that kill neurons and make the brain shrink. As brain damage becomes more widespread, it destroys the ability to function and live.
What symptoms occur in a person with Alzheimer’s?
Memory loss, the earliest sign of Alzheimer’s, often begins with difficulty remembering recent conversations and events. Overall mental ability and the ability to concentrate diminishes.
Many people with Alzheimer’s often repeat the same statements or questions and regularly lose their possessions. You may notice that your loved one can’t quite find the right words to identify items, express their thoughts, or have conversations.
Daily decisions and routine activities get harder to do. For example, people with Alzheimer’s may suddenly not manage to cook a meal, they choose clothes that are inappropriate for the weather, or get lost in places where they frequently go. In later stages, they forget how to dress, bathe, and eat.
The progressive brain changes affect behaviors and moods. It’s common for people with Alzheimer’s to:
- Feel depressed
- Have mood swings
- Distrust others (including family)
- Become irritable and aggressive
- Have difficulty sleeping
- Start wandering away from home
- Lose their inhibitions
- Develop unwarranted suspicions
- Develop hallucinations
In addition to difficulty sleeping, many people with Alzheimer’s become more confused, anxious, and agitated at dusk, a behavior that’s commonly called sundowning.
How is Alzheimer’s treated?
The current medications available for Alzheimer’s can’t cure the disease, but they may slow down progressive changes and improve symptoms.
The team at Tidewater Neurology offers the most advanced medications, such as aducanumab. They administer aducanumab through intravenous infusion therapy — the medication helps to reduce amyloid plaques in the brain.
Medications that help improve memory, attention, language, and the ability to perform simple tasks include:
Some of the medications are for early-stage Alzheimer’s, while others work for people in moderate to late stages.
Your provider may also prescribe medications that improve sleep or recommend behavioral therapy. Counseling often helps family members and caregivers learn how to manage the challenging behaviors, mood swings, and hallucinations that can occur in the advanced stage.
The team at Tidewater Neurology provides compassionate care for Alzheimer’s. To schedule an appointment, call or connect online today.