People often confuse dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is largely due to the fact that almost 50% of dementia cases are people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Dementia is not a disease but a syndrome. A syndrome is a group of symptoms, affecting mental cognitive tasks in this instance, for which there is no definitive diagnosis.

As dementia progresses and the ability to function independently reduces, it has a huge impact on the person affected as well as on families and caregivers. There are 47.5 million people across the world with dementia so you can imagine how many people are affected by this syndrome.

There are five main types of dementia: Alzheimer’s, Lewy Bodies Dementia, Vascular Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia and Mixed Dementia. When people have multiple conditions that may be contributing to the dementia it is called Mixed Dementia.

Although treating dementia is challenging because it has many forms and causes, a lot of progress has recently been made in dementia research and funding to accelerate research is also, thankfully, increasing.


  • Cholinesterase inhibitors like donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon) and galantamine (Razadyne) boost the levels of a chemical messenger that is involved in memory and judgment. Primarily used to treat Alzheimer's disease, these medications are also used in the treatment of other types of dementia as well.
  • Memantine (Namenda) regulates the activity of glutamate which is another chemical messenger involved in the learning and memory functions of the brain. Memantine is often prescribed in conjunction with a cholinesterase inhibitor.
  • Other medications may be prescribed to treat specific symptoms like insomnia, agitation, depression and parkinsonism.


There are several dementia symptoms that can be treated with therapy before having to resort to medication.

  • Occupational therapy can prepare you for the progressions of the dementia and teach you coping behaviours to prevent accidents, such as falls.
  • Modifying the home environment by simplifying it and decluttering it will make it easier for someone with dementia to focus and function. A monitoring system is a good idea so you can be alerted when the person with dementia wanders, which they will.
  • Break daily tasks into small steps and focus on success of each step. Structure and routine are essential and help reduce confusion.

Clinical trials

Find out about clinical trials where new treatments of dementia and interventions are tested in order to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

Lifestyle and home remedies

These are probably the most important aspects of treatment of dementia and will be increasingly important as symptoms worsen.

  • Communicate carefully when talking to the person. Maintain eye-contact, speak slowly in simple sentences, use gestures and objects. Don’t rush any response from them and be prepared to repeat what you have said, several times.
  • Exercise daily to improve strength, balance and cardiovascular health. Exercise is also useful for dealing with restlessness and depression which are very common symptoms.
  • Plan activities that the person with dementia enjoys and is able to do. From listening to music, to dancing, singing, painting or pottering in the garden. This helps you connect with the person as well as lifting their spirits.
  • Night-time rituals are essential as behaviour generally deteriorates at night. After the person has eaten take them to quietly prepare for bed away from the activities of others. Leave night lights on at various points in order to prevent disorientation should they wake up in the middle of the night.
  • A well-balanced diet plays a vital role in dementia treatment. Stimulants like coffee and sugar should be avoided and whilst some dietary supplements can be helpful you should always check with your doctor to avoid any adverse effects they may have if used in conjunction with the medication the person is taking.

There is no single dementia treatment and it cannot be cured. Generally, any known underlying causes are treated and then the symptoms are treated. Knowledge about dementia is key to managing it and can make a big difference to the extent to which it affects the lives of people suffering from it or taking care of them.

Author's Bio: 

Naren is a Freelancer Writer, Entrepreneur and passionate blogger.