Treatment of Alzheimer's disease usually involves treating the declining memory and gradually worsening behavioural symptoms with a range of medications, including:
- cognitive enhancing agents
- antianxiety medications
Medications such as donepezil*, rivastigmine, and galantamine may also be used to slow down memory loss. There is no medication that can halt or reverse the brain damage caused by Alzheimer's disease. However, there are medications that can relieve symptoms, and researchers are discovering many promising new medications that can delay symptoms of the disease.
Recent evidence has shown that strokes are a major contributor to the progression of Alzheimer's disease; therefore, preventing a stroke is important.
Prevention of stroke is the only potentially effective treatment for vascular dementia. If you have high blood pressure, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or have had a stroke, you should seek continued treatment for these conditions to minimize their recurrence.
The key to caring for and helping people with dementia is to focus on the many activities the person can still do. Encourage a person with dementia to continue daily routines and maintain social relationships as much as possible. Help them maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercise, proper nutrition, and fluid intake. Special diets and supplements are generally unnecessary.
If you are caring for someone with dementia, the following may be helpful:
- reminders: Provide written lists of things to do including times, places, and phone numbers to help the person complete the task.
- structure and stability: Minimize undue noise and disturbances to reduce anxiety.
- establish routines: Daily and bedtime routines can reduce disorientation and anxiety.
- speaking slowly and calmly: Present one thought or instruction at a time.
- information card: Reduce the risk of wandering and getting lost by providing a pocket card with the person's name, address, and phone number.
- safety: Make your home environment as safe as possible by keeping furniture in the same place, removing clutter, installing locks on medicine cabinets, and setting the water heater at a low temperature to avoid scalding.
- driving: Don't allow someone with dementia to drive a vehicle. Drive them or arrange for rides wherever they need to go.
Caring for someone with dementia can be difficult. It requires understanding, patience, and compassion. Joining an Alzheimer's disease caregiver's support group in your community may be helpful.
Be prepared for the eventuality that your loved one's condition will deteriorate over time and additional full-time personal care may be needed. In some situations, placement in a nursing home is in the best interests of the individual and their family.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Dementia