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Alzheimer's Disease FAQs (cont.)

How can Alzheimer's disease be treated?

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. Treatment focuses on relieving and slowing down the progress of the symptoms, behavior changes, and complications.

Individuals with Alzheimer's disease should remain physically, mentally, and socially active for as long as they are able.

  • Daily physical exercise, even a short walk, helps maximize body and mind functions and helps individuals maintain a healthy weight. A balanced diet that includes low-fat protein foods and lots of fruits and vegetables will help prevent malnutrition and maintain a healthy weight. Also, people with Alzheimer's disease should not smoke, both for health and safety reasons.
  • Some studies suggest that mental activity might slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, so engaging in as much mental activity as an individual can handle is important. Puzzles, games, reading, writing, and safe crafts are examples of mental activities. These activities should be of an appropriate level of difficulty that the individual is challenged but does not become frustrated.
  • Social interaction is also important. Stimulating and enjoyable activities in which a person is engaged with others help to keep the mind active, which can decrease symptoms in most people with early or intermediate Alzheimer's disease. Most senior centers or community centers have scheduled activities that are suitable for those with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease can sometimes be relieved, at least temporarily, with medication. Many different types of medications have been or are being tried in dementia. The medications that have worked the best so far are cholinesterase inhibitors. Others include anti-inflammatory medications and vitamin E.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/1/2014
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