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What is the Treatment for Dementia?

Explore dementia treatment strategies, including medications, occupational therapy, and environmental changes. Learn how health insurance supports comprehensive care for individuals and families.

  • 31 Jan 2024
  • 3 min read
  • 36 views

Dementia, a complex condition affecting memory and cognitive function, poses significant challenges to individuals and their families. While most types of dementia cannot be cured, there are strategies to manage symptoms and enhance the quality of life for those affected. This exploration delves into the multifaceted approaches to dementia treatment, encompassing medications, emerging therapies, and supportive interventions. As we navigate the evolving landscape of dementia care, it's crucial to recognise the role of health insurance in providing comprehensive support.

Treatment of Dementia

Doctors usually use medication as an effective dementia treatment. Here are the medications that help with dementia, including:

  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors

Utilised to improve dementia symptoms, including memory and judgement issues temporarily.

Commonly prescribed drugs include donepezil (Aricept, Adclarity), rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Razadyne ER). Beyond Alzheimer's, these inhibitors may be recommended for vascular dementia, Parkinson's disease dementia, and Lewy body dementia. 

  • Memantine

Regulates glutamate activity, a chemical messenger vital for brain functions like learning and memory. Often prescribed in combination with cholinesterase inhibitors. Common side effect: dizziness.

  • Lecanemab

FDA-approved in 2023 for mild Alzheimer's disease, demonstrating potential in slowing cognitive decline by preventing amyloid plaque clumping. Administered via IV infusion every two weeks, with side effects including infusion-related reactions, fever, flu-like symptoms, and dizziness. Brain swelling and small bleeds are potential side effects, particularly in individuals carrying a specific gene (APOE e4).

  • Donanemab

According to the study, this medication targets and reduces amyloid plaques and tau proteins, showing promise in slowing declines in thinking and functioning in people with early Alzheimer's disease.

  • Aducanumab (Aduhelm)

FDA-approved for Alzheimer's treatment, albeit with mixed study results regarding its effectiveness.

Limited insurance coverage and cautious use in clinical settings. Aducanumab (Aduhelm) is approved for Alzheimer's treatment, albeit with limited insurance coverage due to mixed study results.

  • Other Medicines

Additional medications may address symptoms or coexisting conditions, such as depression, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, parkinsonism, or agitation.

 

Other Treatment Options for Dementia Include:

  • Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists play a crucial role in creating a safe home environment, teaching coping behaviours, and preventing accidents, particularly falls.

Emphasis on managing behaviour and preparing individuals for progressive stages of dementia.

  • Environmental Changes

Reducing environmental clutter and noise enhances focus and function for those with dementia.

Implementation of monitoring systems to alert caregivers if individuals with dementia wander.

  • Simpler Tasks

Break tasks into manageable steps and focus on success rather than failure.

Structure and routine implementation to mitigate confusion for individuals with dementia.

Also read:

Conclusion

As we explore the diverse modalities for dementia treatment, it's evident that a comprehensive approach is essential to enhance the lives of those affected. From innovative medications to supportive therapies and environmental adaptations, the evolving landscape of dementia care offers hope and possibilities. Acknowledging the significance of health insurance in providing comprehensive coverage for these treatments ensures that individuals and their families can navigate the challenges of dementia with resilience and support.

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