It is important to diagnose the cause of the dementia and treat this if possible.
Treatment may include medication for problems associated with the illness such as depression or aggression.
There are several treatments available for Alzheimer’s dementia that improve the symptoms and may slow the progression of the disease but cannot cure it. These treatments have an effect on chemicals in the brain and improve symptoms of the illness.
There are many pro-active measures that can assist the patient and caregiver to cope with the illness.
Caregivers suffer from enormous stress and suffer from frequent physical illnesses and often become depressed. They need considerable support from their families and the community.
Reviewed by Dr Duncan Ian Rodseth, MB Bch MMed (psych). Consultant Psychiatrist in private practice, Parktown Johannesburg. March 2015