Currently, there are no treatments options for dementia to stop or reverse the disorder. However, medications offer some relief from symptoms, and therapies such as cognitive training can help reinforce appropriate behavior.
Alzheimer’s disease is treated with cholinesterase inhibitors that slow the decline in mental function. The drugs commonly used in the U.S. include tacine, donepezil, revastigmine and galantamine. Anticonvulsants, sedatives and antidepressants may also be prescribed.
Vascular dementia may be slowed or stopped completely if the factors that cause it, such as stroke and heart disease, can be controlled. Surgery may correct physical problems like blockages in blood vessels. Medications help control blood pressure and prevent clots from forming.
Treatments for dementia involving mental exercises may help to improve cognitive functions. Therapists may teach patients to use mnemonics, computer devices and note taking as aids to memory. Inappropriate and dangerous behavior may be managed though modification principles or rewarding positive actions and ignoring those that are undesirable.
Mental abilities often see improvement with the treatment of problems that cause confusion similar to dementia. Anemia, congestive heart failure, nutritional deficiencies and thyroid disorders are all treatable.