The Essential Medication Guidebook to Healthy Aging : Your Easy-To-Use Reference to Medications Taken for Common Conditions

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9780345451378: The Essential Medication Guidebook to Healthy Aging : Your Easy-To-Use Reference to Medications Taken for Common Conditions
About the Author:

Les Paul, M.D., M.S., is vice president, Medical Policy & Programs, at Merck-Medco. Becky Nagle, PharmD, BCPS, is director, Clinical Practice & Education, at Merck-Medco. Merck-Medco is the leading provider of comprehensive, quality, and affordable prescription drug care in the United States, serving the needs of more than 65 million people.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

Alzheimer's Disease

What Is Alzheimer's Disease?

Many older people have problems with their memory. They may forget what someone's name is or where they have put personal items like keys. A little forgetfulness is a normal part of aging.

However, some people forget so much that they have trouble taking care of themselves. They may forget to pay bills, shop for food, or even eat. They may get lost in familiar places, even in their own neighborhoods. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of this type of memory problem. Forgetting where you put the car keys is normal. Forgetting what the keys are used for could be a sign of Alzheimer's disease.

In Alzheimer's disease, memory problems get worse as the years go by. Often, people with Alzheimer's disease have more than just memory problems. They may feel depressed or nervous (anxious).

A number of medical conditions besides Alzheimer's disease can cause forgetfulness. For example, memory problems can come from depression, Parkinson's disease, or a series of mini-strokes.

The brain's chemistry changes in people who develop Alzheimer's disease. One change that seems to be important is that the brain has too little acetylcholine, a chemical that nerve cells use to communicate and store memories.

No cure has been found for Alzheimer's disease. However, taking certain medications may temporarily help to improve the memory of people with Alzheimer's disease or at least slow the progression (worsening) of the disease. Medications can also help to relieve some of the other symptoms of Alzheimer's disease--such as sadness, depression, or nervousness (anxiety).

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Les Paul, Becky Nagle
Editorial: Ballantine Books (2002)
ISBN 10: 0345451376 ISBN 13: 9780345451378
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Les Paul; Becky Nagle
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