While many people have tried to make their skin look younger, what most people tend to forget is that making the brain think and work younger is also critical. For more than 30-40 years, we have seen an explosion of patients with various dementias. Alzheimer’s is a common disorder of the brain and characterized by gradual difficulty in thinking, remembering, speaking, reasoning and concentrating. The disorder always gets worse with time. Why Alzheimer’s happens is not known.
The chances of developing Alzheimer’s increases with age. At least 10% of the population has some features of the disease at 65 year and more than 50% of those who are in their 80s.
There has been research which suggests that some genetic alterations may account for the disorder but there is a lot of speculation. If no cure is going to be found for this disease, it is estimated that close 14 million people in North American will have Alzheimer’s disease in the next 30 years.
As the disease progresses, many individuals remain confused and disoriented. Some develop mood alterations, erratic speech, wander off, lose bladder and bowel control and in the final stages become totally incapable of caring for themselves.
Since Alzheimer’s is a disease of aging, a lot of research has been done on anti aging therapies. Presently 2 classes of drugs are used to treat Alzheimer’s- cholinesterase inhibitors and partial glutamate antagonists. Neither class of drugs has been shown to significantly affect the progression of disease and many studies indicate that the drugs are no better than placebo.
In the last decade, a newer class of drugs have been developed, these drugs known as nootropics or smart drugs (brain enhancers) are widely touted to have anti aging or anti Alzheimer effects. Nootropic essentially means –bending or changing of the mind. These new drugs are thought to work by altering or changing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain and improve the brains ability to stimulate nerve growth. While the manufacturers of these drugs have hyped up claims about these drugs for Alzheimer patients, there are in fact no clinical trials which demonstrate their benefits.
The Nootropic drugs are widely sold all over the internet and in many health food stores. Some of the drugs include piracetam, aniracetam, and oxirecetam. The manufacturers claim that animal work does reveal that these drugs improve memory. Perhaps it is the lack of clinical research which has contributed to our ignorance about these drugs or may be they only work in rats. Whether these pills can reverse aging or any signs of dementia is anyone’s guess. The price of these tablets ranges from $40-$80 for 60 tablets.