Alzheimer’s is a difficult disease for families and their loved ones to deal with firsthand. Although there are different medications on the market claiming to prevent the disease, a new solution has caught the attention of researchers.
Prozac and Paxil, two common antidepressants, might hold the key to preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about how these medications work to potentially slow down progression of the disease and who may benefit most from them.
Understanding How the Medications Work
Both Prozac and Paxil are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, better known as SSRIs. Studies have shown that giving SSRIs to individuals resulted in a slower buildup of beta-amyloid plaque on the neurons. When the plaque is allowed to build up, this typically leads to Alzheimer’s getting progressively worse.
These drugs are currently only being researched in the early stages of Alzheimer’s treatment. However, it might provide clues into options that could potentially work in the future with further fine-tuning.
Who the Medications Work Best For
Although research is ongoing, studies show that the medications are best administered to individuals who are in the early stages of dementia. It’s important to understand that the medications don’t stop Alzheimer’s altogether, but they are thought to slow the progression of the disease. For these reasons, SSRIs are thought to be most beneficial for those with an early diagnosis. This can help individuals maintain some of their life, give them more time with loved ones and even assist them in slowing the progression of the disease, while other options are explored. It is thought that new treatments will contain some form of SSRIs.
There are, of course, other considerations when it comes to the use of SSRIs to treat any condition. In some groups of people, the use of this type of medication has been known to increase suicide risk. Alzheimer’s patients who are particularly vulnerable, especially those that have had a history of depression or suicidal ideation should be closely monitored during the initial phase of treatment to ensure these symptoms do not worsen.
While researchers are still investigating using SSRIs like Prozac and Paxil to help treat Alzheimer’s patients, the current findings are hopeful. While these medications are not a cure yet, it’s possible they hold the key to management and prevention of the disease, allowing individuals to lead a full life. Hopefully, with further research, Alzheimer’s disease will one day be a curable disease.
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