Tribune Print Share Text

Alzheimer's disease, low-dose aspirin

Created date

October 23rd, 2012

Q.My husband has moderate-stage Alzheimer s disease. Is it true that there s a prescription medical food that may help his symptoms?

A.There are a number of alternative treatments for Alzheimer s disease, including gingko biloba, omega-3 fatty acids, and caprylic acid some forms of which are marketed as a prescription medical food. The problem with medical foods is that they are not required to have the same type of clinical testing as drugs to prove their effectiveness. The Food and Drug Administration regulates them, however, based on their safety profile they must be considered generally recognized as safe. Although manufacturers claim that these foods have been shown to improve symptoms in some Alzheimer s patients, the Alzheimer s Association s viewpoint is that there is not enough scientific evidence to support these findings.

Q.I take a low-dose aspirin every day, but sometimes I get little bruises on my body. Should I stop taking it?

A.Low-dose aspirin is usually prescribed for the prevention of heart attacks or strokes. It works as an anticoagulant, or blood thinner. It may, therefore, make you more susceptible to bruising if you bump into something or have even a minor traumatic injury somewhere on your body. Minor bruising doesn t typically signal a problem, but if you notice an increase, especially in areas that have not been subjected to trauma, let your doctor know about it. Aspirin may make you more susceptible to internal bleeding, especially if you are on some other medications, especially other anticoagulants. 

Joel Posner, M.D.

Medical Director, Grove

Glen Mills, Pa.

Dr. Posner received his bachelor s degree from the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., and his medical degree from the University of Montpellier in Montpellier, France. He completed his internship at St. Mary s Hospital in Montreal, Canada, and his residency at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Posner also completed a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa. He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary diseases, and geriatrics. Posner joined Maris Grove in June 2009.