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Alzheimer's Disease (cont.)

Other Treatment

Other therapies, such as light therapy, aromatherapy, and exercise, may help reduce behaviors such as agitation. But they should only be done with supervision.

Other treatment choices

  • Ginkgo biloba is widely used in Europe to treat age-related dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. But studies haven't shown that ginkgo biloba helps improve memory or prevent dementia.7
  • Aromatherapy. Researchers are studying the use of aromatherapy oils, such as lavender, rosemary, and lemon, to reduce significant agitation in people who have dementia.8 But more research is needed to prove its effectiveness.
  • Light therapy is often used to relieve depression. It may help reduce depression, agitation, and sleeplessness associated with Alzheimer's disease.
  • Exercise. Gentle exercise, such as walking or swimming, can also relieve symptoms of depression associated with Alzheimer's disease. Exercise is most effective when it is combined with teaching caregivers how to work through behavioral problems with the person who has Alzheimer's disease.

Another way a caregiver can try to reduce agitation in a person who has Alzheimer's disease is to play soothing music during meals and when the caregiver is helping with bathing.

What to think about

Other treatments for Alzheimer's disease need further study. Their effectiveness and possible side effects aren't yet fully known. Talk to your doctor before you decide to try any herbal therapies, supplements, or nonprescription treatments.

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