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Alzheimer's Disease Frequently Asked Questions

Print these questions and answers to discuss with your health care provider.

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Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease

Early-onset Alzheimer's is a form of the disease that strikes before you're 65. There's no cure, but there are drugs to manage symptoms, at least for a while, including memory loss, problems sleeping, and changes in behavior. The early form of Alzheimer's most often shows up when you're in your 40s and 50s, but symptoms can also show up as early as your 30s. Early-onset Alzheimer's is rare. It affects only about 200,000 people in the U.S., or less than 5% of all cases of the disease. It's sometimes...

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1. Are there any medications that someone with Alzheimer's disease should avoid?

A person with Alzheimer's disease may be taking medicines to treat symptoms of the disease as well as other health problems. However, when a person takes many medications there is an increased risk of having an adverse reaction, including confusion, agitation, sleepiness or sleeplessness, mood swings, memory problems, and/or stomach upset.

While it may become necessary for a person to take medicine to treat the severe symptoms of Alzheimer's disease -- such as hallucinations or aggressive behavior -- some of these medications can worsen other symptoms of the disease. For example:

It is important to discuss the pros and cons of these treatment options with your doctor before making a decision regarding medication. In addition, it is important to consider the possible side effects of over-the-counter medications, including cough and cold remedies, and sleep medicines. These drugs may also react with other medications taken by the person with Alzheimer's disease. It is best to consult your doctor before using any over-the-counter medication.

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