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Alzheimer's Symptoms: Therapies That Can Help

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Other Therapies continued...

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). At one time, studies suggested that women who took hormone replacement therapy after menopause had a lower risk for Alzheimer's. The female hormone, estrogen, was thought to help nerve cells connect with each other, and keep the brain from making plaques that build up between brain cells. But more recent research found that HRT doesn’t help, and one study even showed that estrogen use might actually raise the risk of Alzheimer's rather than protect against it. HRT also may increase a person’s chances for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer.

Art and music therapies. Some science shows that these treatments, which stimulate the senses, can improve mood, behavior, and day-to-day function for people with Alzheimer’s. Art and music may help trigger memories and help people reconnect with the world around them.

Supplements. Some people have tried alternative remedies, including coenzyme Q10, coral calcium, huperzine A, and omega-3 fatty acids to prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease. There’s not yet enough research to show if they do or don’t work.

The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements as it does medications, and the companies that make them don’t have to show if their products are safe or work before they can sell them. Some supplements also can cause dangerous side effects or keep other medications you take from working. Always talk to your doctor before you start using one.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on April 25, 2015
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