Alzheimer's: What Treatments Are Available and What Do They Do?
Some medicines can improve quality of life and delay certain symptoms
There is no cure for Alzheimer's, but there are medicines that may improve quality of life and delay some symptoms of the disease. Counseling and other therapies may also be recommended.
Currently there are four drugs approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the symptoms of the disease for some time, but they cannot stop the disease itself. Not every drug will be helpful for every person with this form of dementia.
Information about the four currently approved drugs — and about treatments that we know do not work — can be found on these sites:
- NIH Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center provides an overview of currently approved drugs, how they work and their potential side effects.
- The Alzheimer's Association offers resources on drug and non-drug treatments, and advancements in research.
As the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer's may experience a variety of symptoms, such as sleeplessness, agitation, wandering, anxiety, anger and depression. Drug and non-drug treatments are available to manage these symptoms and behavioral changes. Treating them often makes patients more comfortable and helps caregivers keep them safe.
- The NIH Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center has details about current research as well as the types of treatment and approved medications.
- The Alzheimer's Association has information about behavioral changes, what triggers them, and ways to cope and treat these symptoms.
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