Current Research: Treatment for Dementia

Current research shows that almost 10 million cases of dementia arise each year. It often seems like dementia is a growing concern only for individuals over the age of 60. However, people as young as 30 can develop signs of the disease, too.

As cases of dementia rise each year, it’s necessary to understand what you can do to prevent the disease. If a loved one is diagnosed, know that there are many ways in which the disease is being treated. Knowing how to slow down the disease can give you and your family a greater sense of hope. Keep reading to learn more.

Understanding Prevention

There aren’t any concrete treatments for dementia. But there are ways to prevent the development and severity of the disease.

An early diagnosis of dementia happens primarily through a series of neurological tests. One way to catch the disease early is to request regular cognitive exams from your doctor.

This is especially important if you have a history of dementia in your immediate family. Having a parent or sibling with dementia means you may have a higher likelihood of developing it as well.

Exactly what causes dementia is still unknown. Yet many believe that taking good care of yourself can aid prevention. As much as you can, limit activities that harm your health, like smoking or eating unhealthy foods. 

You can supplement your wellness routine with products from the Umbrella Labs or other research groups. Be sure to exercise often and visit your doctor regularly. Taking care of any health issues that arise gives you the best chance to prevent dementia.

Early-Stage Dementia

Early-stage dementia is often hard to recognize, as it shares many of the same signs as normal aging. As people get older, it’s not uncommon to forget things now and then. But sometimes, these can be signs of the onset of dementia and related diseases. 

Forgetfulness is one common indicator of dementia. Additionally, people may experience swings in their mood or difficulty conveying their thoughts.

PET scans can be a helpful tool in determining whether someone is developing the disease. A PET scan can show whether proteins called amyloids, which are linked to Alzheimer’s, are present in the brain. 

If these issues are present, it may be time to see a doctor to talk about the options for treatment. For mood changes or increased depression and anxiety, consider speaking with a psychiatrist. For memory issues, current research shows that memory-aiding drugs can help. 

It all depends on you, your loved one, and the advice of a qualified doctor.

Mid-Stage Dementia

Dementia can start to impact a person’s ability to complete their normal, daily tasks. At that point, it could be time to consider a wider range of treatments.

The tough aspect of dementia is that there is no definitive treatment for it. But some methods and tools can improve the quality of life of those who suffer from it. 

Cholinesterase inhibitors are one common prescription. They help keep the brain structures and chemicals connected to memory from deteriorating. Alternative approaches support using anti-inflammatory extracts like GinkoBiloba and Huperzine A.

Writing programs have also improved mood and self-expression in individuals with dementia. Programs involving assisted writing and group storytelling have benefited the use of language.

There are many paths you can take to help yourself or a loved one as the disease progresses. Just remember that treating dementia should be a well-rounded, holistic endeavor.

Severe Dementia

In severe cases of dementia, treatment is challenging. It is usually a matter of helping the individual as much as possible with their daily tasks. Mixtures of medications like Memantine can also help improve a person’s cognitive abilities. 

Limiting or managing other common behaviors, like wandering or sleeplessness, is important, too. These present their own challenges for those in charge of care. They can also contribute to increased mood changes.

When dementia becomes very severe, additional, outside care is often the best choice. Caring for a parent or spouse who has severe dementia requires a great deal of patience, time, and emotional investment. It can be hard to watch your loved ones decline while still trying to care for them full-time. 

For that reason, bringing in an in-home caregiver is a great way to lift off some of the responsibility. It also allows someone well-trained in dementia to assist your family member. 

If you can, finding a palliative care center or home is another way to ensure your family member has 24/7 help. And they offer care by healthcare professionals who have specialized in dementia.

Current Research Is Ongoing

There is a lot of ongoing research about the cause, prevention, and treatment of dementia. New findings are offering insight into different forms of the disease as well as ways to spot it sooner. 

New, innovative blood tests spot signs of dementia earlier than brain scans. Researchers also discovered toxic proteins that cause a type of the disease.

The research is still ongoing. But ask your doctor if you or your family member is eligible for tests like these.

Research is also going into how to best care for people with dementia. Informing and training family members and caregivers is one way. This often enables patients to stay in their own homes for longer. The arts are also used in dementia treatment. Painting, writing, and music are all effective tools. They stimulate creativity and can preserve a patient’s sense of identity. 

Don’t Lose Hope

Dementia is a tough disease to battle. With no definitive cure, a diagnosis can seem hopeless and overwhelming. But current research shows there are treatments available. These treatments slow the progress of the disease and improve cognitive functioning.

Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor if you have questions or concerns about dementia. Talk with them about all the options available. That way, you can make an informed decision within your family. For more about health and wellness, visit our website.