Alzheimer’s disease is a harrowing condition that affects families as much as it does the person with the condition. Most people require professional assistance as the disease progresses, both for their benefit and to ensure their families are properly supported.
It also helps for families to understand the possible treatments for Alzheimer’s, as these treatments can improve the quality of life of their loved ones. Here are a few things to keep in mind about potential treatment options.
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease
Doctors begin by discussing a person’s symptoms, which can provide insight into the type of dementia they are experiencing. If your loved one is unable to communicate their symptoms in a meaningful way, attend the appointment with them to provide clarification. This is crucial to gain a good understanding of the severity of the disease and to develop the best possible treatment approach.
Doctors also combine diagnostic testing with the patient’s symptoms to develop a solid diagnosis. This can include physical exams, neurological testing, and lab testing to rule out other possible causes of cognitive dysfunction. Imaging tests can also show changes in the brain caused by the effects of Alzheimer’s.
While there is no cure currently available, there are numerous treatment options intended to stem the effects of the disease. Certain medications can reduce symptoms and slow the progression of the disease when administered early. A recently approved drug has also shown promise by targeting the plaques in the brain that cause cognitive dysfunction and removing them.
There are additional methods you can use to create a more comforting and supportive environment for the person experiencing dementia symptoms. Be sure to keep essential items, such as wallets and phones, in a central location for easy retrieval. Safeguard the house by reinforcing handrails, repairing steps, and isolating hazardous chemicals and materials.
People with Alzheimer’s also require regular social stimulation. Be sure to spend plenty of quality time with your loved one to support them both emotionally and mentally.