Dementia causes debilitating symptoms and is progressive. Millions of people suffer from it worldwide. It is characterized by decreased cognitive function, including memory loss , problem-solving ability, and language. There is no known cure for Dementia. However, several treatments are available that can manage its symptoms, slow its progress, and improve the lives of those who suffer from it.
Medications That Treat Dementia
People with Dementia and Alzheimer’s are commonly treated with medications. FDA currently approves the following medications as a treatment for Dementia:
- Cholinesterase inhibitors: Cholinesterase inhibitors are medications that increase the amount of acetylcholine neurotransmitter within the brain. This neurotransmitter can be depleted with Dementia. It is vital for memory, cognitive function, and mood. Cholinesterase inhibitors are Donepezil, Rivastigmine, and Galantamine.
- Memantine: Memantine can be used to treat mild-to-moderate Dementia. It works to block the activity of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that is overactive for people with Dementia.
These medications help improve memory and other cognitive skills in dementia patients.
Nonpharmacological Treatments for Dementia
Other Non-pharmacological treatments for Dementia are available. These treatments emphasize emotional support, social engagement, and improving the quality of life. Some common Nonpharmacological treatments are:
- Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST): CST is a Non-pharmacological treatment aimed at improving cognitive function and life quality in people with Dementia. It involves engaging in brain-challenging activities such as puzzles and games.
- Music Therapy: Music therapy is a Non-pharmacological treatment that uses music to improve the cognitive, emotional, and social functions of dementia patients. It can be used to reduce agitation as well as improve mood and communication.
- Pet Therapy: This involves bringing dogs or cats into the home of a person with Dementia to offer emotional support and companionship. It can reduce agitation as well as increase socialization and improve mood.
- Art Therapy: Art therapy, a Nonpharmacological treatment, uses creative expressions such as drawing or painting to improve emotional health and cognitive function for people with Alzheimer’s. It can improve mood and self-expression, as well as reduce anxiety.
- Occupational Therapist: Occupational therapists are Non-pharmacological treatments that improve people’s ability to perform everyday activities such as bathing. Dressing or cooking. It helps maintain independence while reducing caregiver burden.
Dementia has a devastating impact on millions of people in the world. There is currently no cure for Dementia. However, various treatments available can manage its symptoms, reduce its progression, or improve the quality of life for affected individuals and families. Memantine, cholinesterase inhibitors, and other medications can improve language, memory, and cognitive functions. Nonpharmacological interventions, including cognitive stimulation therapy, pet therapy, art therapy, and occupational therapy, can be used to provide emotional support, improve quality of life and promote social interaction. The prevalence of Dementia is increasing, so it’s essential to create awareness, provide support and resources, and continue researching and developing effective treatments.
South Valley Neurology offers a wealth of experience and expertise that we can use to help us with our dementia cases. The team is committed to helping you to understand your loved one’s diagnosis. They will support them throughout the entire process, from the initial diagnosis to treatment. South Valley Neurology would like everyone who walks into their offices to feel confident and secure in the knowledge that they can rely on them as a medical home. We are grateful they have committed to people living with Dementia in the San Jose area.