No cure has been presently found for dementia. However, there are medications and other therapies that can deal with the symptoms of dementia. As Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent form of dementia, the majority of available medications are used to treat it. These medications can alleviate symptoms for a short period of time. There are also medications and therapies that can manage the symptoms of related conditions and other challenging behaviors caused by dementia.
Memantine is prescribed to persons who have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy body, or moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. Memantine is appropriate for people who cannot take or tolerate acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It works by preventing the consequences of an excess of a neurotransmitter in the brain known as glutamate. Constipation, dizziness, and headaches are possible side effects, although they are typically relatively transitory.
These medications block an enzyme in the brain from degrading acetylcholine, a chemical that allows nerve cells to interact with one another. Galantamine, rivastigmine, and donepezil are medications that are used to treat the symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Donepezil is also used to treat more severe cases of Alzheimer’s. There is evidence that these medications can help treat Parkinson’s disease dementia, dementia with Lewy body, and patients with a mixed diagnosis of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. There is minimal variation in the efficacy of these medications. However, rivastigmine may be preferable if hallucinations are a major symptom.
Medication for Challenging Behaviors
A considerable proportion of patients acquire dementia-related behavioral and psychological symptoms in the late stages of the disease, including:
- Increased agitation
These behavioral changes may be quite stressful for both the person with dementia and the person caring for them. There are, however, coping tactics that might be beneficial. If coping tactics fail, antipsychotic medications such as risperidone or haloperidol may be administered for those who exhibit chronic violence or excessive discomfort.
Working with a skilled expert, such as an occupational therapist, and a family or friend to attain a personal objective, such as learning to use a mobile phone or other common chores, is the purpose of this strategy. Cognitive rehabilitation works by encouraging you to use the portions of your brain that are functioning to assist the areas that are not. It can help you manage better with the disease in the early stages of dementia.
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy
Research shows that cognitive stimulation therapy appears to aid patients with mild to moderate dementia. Cognitive stimulation therapy entails participating in group activities and exercises that aim to improve:
- Language proficiency
- Problem-solving abilities
Choose The Trace
At The Trace, we understand the ups and downs of dementia, as well as the burden it may place on patients and their loved ones. With our memory care program, your dementia-afflicted family members, such as those with Alzheimer’s or other memory-loss conditions, may live a more full and fruitful life. That is why, in order to give you the best of both worlds in terms of cutting-edge dementia care, our senior living community engages with families and care providers by combining science with the personal human touch.