There is so much research being done into cures and treatments for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Dementia is a very tough disease to live with, not only for the individual impacted by it but for their friends and family as well. This blog post is chock full of great info about dementia treatments, Alzheimer’s treatments, and a potential cure for Alzheimer’s.
Can Alzheimer’s and dementia be cured?
This is one of the most common questions that gets asked about Alzheimer’s and dementia. For now, the answer is no. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia.
However, there is still plenty of hope! Because dementia does impact so many people, lots of time, money, and resources are invested in trying to find a cure. There are frequently new medical breakthroughs that relate to treating or curing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Can Alzheimer’s and dementia be treated?
While there is no known cure, there are treatments available. Dementia symptoms and Alzheimer’s symptoms can be treated with a variety of methods. There are pharmaceutical treatments (like medications) for Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as lifestyle changes and environmental factors that can impact dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms. Memory care homes can also provide dementia treatments and support to help improve residents’ quality of life. Next, we’ll go into more detail about some of the most common dementia treatments.
Common treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia
When people think of Alzheimer’s and dementia treatment, the first thing that comes to mind is probably medication. That is certainly one form of treatment that has shown to help people with memory impairment.
There are a handful of different medications that have been approved by the FDA to treat mild, moderate, and severe dementia. These medications fall into two categories: Cholinesterase inhibitors and Memantine. Depending on the severity of the dementia and the needs of each individual patient, these medications may be used on their own or together.
Medication isn’t the only way to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s though. There are plenty of treatments that have been shown to effectively slow cognitive decline outside of pharmaceuticals. For instance, Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is widely used in memory care. It stimulates cognition and prevents cognitive decline in many individuals with memory impairment. Other research-supported dementia treatments include pet therapy, regularly engaging in creative endeavors, and regularly participating in physical activity.
The newest Alzheimer’s treatment
When talking about Alzheimer’s treatments, we would be remiss if we skipped over the newest approved treatment. In the summer of 2023, the FDA granted full approval to the drug lecanemab to be used to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s. It works by removing a sticky protein from the brain that has been shown to cause the advance of Alzheimer’s disease. It is delivered through an infusion every two weeks. There is still much to be learned as this medication becomes more widely used, but the initial results are promising: Lecanemab slowed clinical decline of Alzheimer’s disease by 27% over the course of 18 months.
Recent research on Alzheimer’s and dementia treatments
And the best news of all: There is a lot of promising research currently being done that hopes to find new, more effective treatments for dementia! There is another medication that is similar to lecanemab in the way it treats Alzheimer’s that should have study results released later in 2023. Researchers are continuing to look toward other methods of fighting Alzheimer’s and dementia as well. Hormones, the connection between the brain and the heart, and reducing inflammation are all currently being studied as means through which Alzheimer’s and dementia may be able to be treated.
So overall, while there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia yet, there are quite a few treatments available that can help memory impaired individuals live longer, happier, healthier lives. And more treatments, and maybe even an eventual cure, are constantly being researched! For now, high-quality memory care and other approved dementia treatments are the best way to help your loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia.