Dementia is currently undergoing extensive research to find treatments that can better manage, reverse, and even cure its symptoms. Learn More Below.
As research for a dementia cure continues, taking preventative measures to decrease the risk of developing dementia becomes crucial. Certain risk factors like age or genetic susceptibility cannot be changed or controlled, but there are many other factors that increase the probability of developing dementia. These factors include:
Certain lifestyle changes and preventative measures decrease the risk of developing dementia. Research suggests that it may be beneficial to:
These measures aren't only for individuals who want to prevent dementia - these lifestyle changes are also beneficial for those who are already diagnosed, as positive changes can slow the progression of dementia.
Medication for reversible dementias
Some reversible dementias exist: for example, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause pernicious anemia, leading to dementia that can be treated by addressing the deficiency. Medication and supplements that can completely cure reversible dementias include:
Medication for managing dementia symptoms
When a dementia condition cannot be treated, slowed, or reversed, doctors and medical professionals focus on medications that can make living with dementia easier and more manageable. There are several classes of medications proven to work at treating symptoms and reducing the effects of dementia, which include:
Side effects of medications used to alleviate dementia symptoms include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, slowed heart rate and diarrhea. A doctor or healthcare professional can prescribe the medication that best fits an individual's condition and situation.
Research has shown that therapy improves well being, day-to-day functioning, and overall mood in dementia sufferers. Dementia is correlated with increased anxiety and depression, so professional counseling and a strong support system are integral to maintaining and improving overall well being. Patients can choose from many different types of therapy, including therapies that align with their interests like music or art therapy.
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy
Also known as CST, cognitive stimulation therapy is clinically proven to help those with mild to moderate dementia and is the premiere therapy method for dementia patients. CST involves training memory, language ability, and problem solving skills in order to improve cognitive functioning, and can increase memory and reasoning skills without medication.
Behavioral therapy is usually administered by qualified family or loved ones of dementia sufferers, or by the caregivers of afflicted individuals. This method is twice as effective as antipsychotics for treating symptoms like anxiety, aggression, depression, wandering, and insomnia. Behavioral therapy involves tackling the triggers or causes of unwanted behaviors like aggression or wandering in order to alleviate and provide outlets for these behaviors without medication. For example, a trained caregiver may find that feelings of restlessness or stress cause their patient to wander away from home, and can implement an exercise regimen to manage this restlessness.
Other dementia therapies can be beneficial based on the situation, and include:
Dementia hugely affects everyday functioning both for sufferers and for their loved ones, and coping with dementia can require major lifestyle and environmental changes. A comprehensive management system includes therapy and counseling to manage possible stress, anxiety, and depression. A patient suffering from more advanced stages of dementia may need a caregiver who can provide regular or semi-regular support.
Some tools that sufferers and caregivers can use to manage dementia include:
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