What Can Help With Dementia?

What Can Help With Dementia?

Dementia can have a profound impact on a person’s daily functioning and quality of life. While there is no cure, early diagnosis and proper care helps manage dementia and can improve quality of life for patients with neurocognitive disorders.

A neurologist is an important part of the health care team for patients with dementia. Dr. Ravinder Singh and our team at Premier Neurology Medical Group specialize in treating conditions that affect the nervous system, and we offer an individualized, patient-centered approach to dementia care. 

Patients with dementia who visit our office in Beverly Hills, California, receive a comprehensive evaluation before treatment begins. The goal of dementia treatment is to improve the patient’s quality of life. 

Diagnosing dementia

A full assessment is a crucial part of creating an appropriate treatment plan. Our team first evaluates the loss of cognitive function. Once that is established, we assess the patient’s current capabilities. Knowing what the patient is still able to do gives us a reference point in developing a treatment plan to manage dementia and improve your loved one’s quality of life. 

Cognitive and neurological tests involve assessing judgement, memory, reasoning, and thinking skills, as well as physical capability, such as balance and reflexes. 

Along with assessments, diagnosis involves reviewing their medical history and symptoms, and conducting a physical examination. 

Medications for dementia

We may prescribe medication to improve dementia symptoms. The following are medications commonly used to treat dementia.

Cholinesterase inhibitors

Aricept®, Exelon®, and Razadyne® are three of the most common cholinesterase inhibitors prescribed for treating dementia. Patients with dementia often have lower levels of a chemical called acetylcholine, which sends messages between nerve cells. 

Cholinesterase inhibitors improve dementia by preventing the enzyme acetylcholinesterase from breaking down acetylcholine so that there is a higher concentration of acetylcholine in the brain.

Memantine

Dr. Singh may prescribe Namenda® (a brand name for memantine) along with a cholinesterase inhibitor to treat moderate-to-severe confusion in patients with dementia. It works by reducing the action of chemicals that contribute to symptoms of dementia.

Your provider may prescribe other medications to treat specific symptoms, such as depression or sleep problems. 

Therapy improves quality of life for people with dementia 

Therapy alone and with medication can help improve dementia. We may recommend therapy as part of your loved one’s treatment program. 

Occupational therapists evaluate performance in different areas in patients with dementia to determine their strengths and impairments. Practitioners work with patients and family members in specific areas, such as avoiding falls. The goal is to compensate for impairments and adapt in ways that improve functioning. 

Your provider may recommend other types of therapy to improve your loved ones daily life. 

Tips for caregivers

There are many things caregivers can do to improve the lives of loved ones living with dementia. Taking precautions, such as using locks to keep your loved one safe from toxic substances, sharp utensils, and medication is a good way to create a safer environment. 

Creating routines can help your loved one stay organized, and monitoring their nutritional intake ensures your loved one gets the right amount of nutrients. Keeping your loved one physically active and helping to maintain social connections are other ways to improve your loved one’s quality of life. 

Help for managing dementia 

Caregivers often feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn in helping a loved one with dementia. Neurology specialists are your best resource, and our team at Premier Neurology Medical Group can provide guidance and top-quality care every step of the way. 

To get started, call our office and speak with a knowledgeable team member to schedule an appointment with Dr. Singh. You can also use our website booking form to send your request online

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