Mangosteen and Alzheimer’s (Dementia) Disease
A lzheimer's disease, also known as Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (SDAT) or simply Alzheimer's, is a brain disorder named after German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer, who first recognized the disease in 1906. Over the past century, scientists have learned a great deal about this degenerative and terminal disease. Alzheimer is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities. Alzheimer's disease currently accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. In majority of patients, Alzheimer's is diagnosed above the age of 65; however, the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can have an earlier manifestation of symptoms. Alzheimer is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people worldwide by 2050. In the U.S., as many as 5.3 million people are living with this progressive and fatal brain disorder. In general, Alzheimer's dementia destroys brain cells, leading to memory loss and impairments with cognition and behavior that may be severe enough to affect work and social life. It also hampers the patient's ability to make critical judgments and carry out normal daily functions. As Alzheimer's dementia progresses, a patient may exhibit changes in personality as well as signs of anxiety, depression, agitation, delusion and hallucinations. The disease simply gets worse overtime and it is fatal. Alzheimer's dementia is now the seventh leading cause of mortality in the United States.
Alzheimer's Dementia Disease Symptoms
The course of Alzheimer's dementia varies among patients but there are common symptoms. These include confusion, changes in personality, inability to acquire new memories, irritability and aggression, language difficulties, mood swings, and problems with attention and spatial orientation. Usually, Alzheimer's dementia symptoms are mild and may be mistaken for signs of aging. In fact, during the early stages Alzheimer's dementia symptoms may not be apparent to the patient, family and even health professionals. As Alzheimer's dementia disease advances, symptoms also worsen and may include long-term memory loss and general withdrawal of the patient as their senses decline. Bodily functions are gradually lost so the patient becomes completely dependent. Ultimately death will occur. The prognosis of Alzheimer's dementia is difficult to assess because the duration of Alzheimer's dementia differs among individuals. The disease develops for an indefinite period before symptoms become fully apparent. The average life expectancy is eight to ten years after Alzheimer's dementia diagnosis but in some cases the disease can last up to 20 years. However, less than three percent of patients live more than fourteen years after diagnosis.
Alzheimer's Dementia Disease Treatment
Once the presence of Alzheimer's Dementia is suspected, the diagnosis is normally confirmed through cognitive tests and behavioral assessments. A CT scan or MRI can also be performed. To date, the exact cause and progression of Alzheimer's dementia remains vague but recent research and studies reveal that it is related to the development of plaques and tangles in the brain. There is no definitive treatment for Alzheimer's dementia but the symptoms can be managed through medications, psychological intervention, along with the appropriate services and support.
Regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) have approved four types of medications to treat the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's dementia. Three are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors while the other is an NMDA receptor antagonist called memantine. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors commonly prescribed for mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia disease include Aricept (donezepil HCL), Exelon (rivastigmine), and Razadyne (galantamine). Memantine (brand names Akatinol, Axura, Ebixa/Abixa, Memox and Namenda), was first used as an anti-influenza agent. It has been shown to be moderately effective in the treatment of moderate to severe cases of Psychosocial interventions are typically used as an adjunct to pharmaceutical drugs and can be categorized as behaviour-, emotion-, cognition- or stimulation-oriented approaches. Studies and research on efficacy of such approaches are unavailable and are seldom specific to Alzheimer's dementia. They generally concentrate on addressing issues associated with dementia. Alzheimer's dementia has no cure and it slowly renders patients incapable of attending to their needs, caregiving is basically the treatment and should be carefully planned and managed throughout the course of the Alzheimer's dementia disease.
Mangosteen Help for Alzheimer's
For over a century, science has not provided an absolute cure for Alzheimer's dementia. The aforementioned Alzheimer's dementia treatment approaches are palliative at best and their efficacy has yet to be completely established. Interestingly, nature appears to provide for the minor scientific shortcomings. What has been dubbed as Asia's queen of fruits, mangosteen has been providing a wide array of health benefits since time immemorial. Mangosteen has recently caught the attention of the scientific and medical communities. Various research and scientific mangosteen tests indicate that highly potent compounds called xanthones present in mangosteen may help resolve the inflammation within brain tissue. These studies are quite promising indeed as they reveal that mangosteen may be capable of addressing the inflammation in the brain that is being linked to Alzheimer's dementia disease. There are also studies which suggest that anti-inflammatory supplements have the potential to prevent or hamper the progression of Alzheimer's dementia especially when supplementation is initiated early in the course of the disease, more studies will be required to quantify the beneficial importance of mangosteen for those suffering with Alzheimer’s dementia but early signs show significant promise.