Philadelphia Treatment Guide
What It Is
Dementia is not a disease itself, but rather a series of symptoms caused by diseases and disorders. Alzheimer’s disease is the primary cause, but Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and AIDS also may cause it. Memory loss alone is not enough for diagnosis, as two or more brain functions, such as memory and language, must be affected. Increased age and family history are the primary risk factors. Substance abuse, a combination of prescription drugs, and hormone/vitamin imbalances can also cause dementia, and in these rare cases, it is curable.
Memory loss, inability to learn or remember new information, trouble performing familiar tasks, difficulty communicating, problems following directions, difficulty with planning and organizing, changes in personality, mood, or behavior (ex. becoming aggressive, irritable, or depressed), hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, loss of initiative
Donepezil (Aricept), Rivastigmine (Exelon), Galantamine (Razadyne), and Memantine (Namenda), are approved to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and may help slow the progression of symptoms for some patients. Antidepressants, anxiolytics, and antipsychotic medicines are available to treat the behavioral and psychiatric symptoms of the disease.
Other treatment options include a home safety evaluation followed by necessary modifications, nursing-home care, a regular, supervised exercise program, and moderate mental stimulation.
Living With Dementia
Whether you are dealing with dementia yourself or you are caring for a loved one with dementia, you don’t have to go through it alone. Philadelphia has everything from Top Doctors and Hospitals to support groups.