Possible Early Dementia (cont.)
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Possible Early Dementia Treatment
No treatment is known to stop or slow down memory loss in MCI. Medications used in Alzheimer's disease and some other kinds of dementia may help in MCI, but this has not been proven. One area of ongoing research is whether people with MCI do better without treatment—keeping in mind that medication can sometimes make cognitive symptoms worse. It is important that people with MCI be checked regularly to see if their condition has changed.
People with MCI should remain physically, socially, and mentally active to the greatest extent possible. Physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight, promotes relaxation and healthy sleep, and lifts the mood. A daily walk is appropriate for many people with MCI. Social interaction also fosters a positive mood and helps prevent depression. Many senior centers offer activities that promote social interaction. Mentally challenging activities, such as crossword puzzles and "brain teasers," may be helpful in holding off mental deterioration, but this has not been proven.
Rodrigo O Kuljis, MD
Nestor Galvez-Jimenez, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Helmi L Lutsep, MD
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Perhaps the most important challenge in treating dementia is identifying cases (albeit uncommon) of reversible dementia such as chronic drug intoxication, vitamin deficiencies (B-12 and folate), subdural hematoma(s), major depression (causing forgetfulness), normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), and hypothyroidism.