Although there is no current cure for Alzheimer's disease itself, there are treatments used to improve a patient’s symptoms and their life. However before a doctor can prescribe treatments, he needs to know which treatments will help and which will not. He needs to know if cognitive enhancers are needed and which symptoms need treatment. He also needs to see if any behavioral strategies are required or not. In fact treatment for Alzheimer's Disease is basically divided into these two main groups:

Medication: Most medications used for cognitive symptoms and are used to increase a patients neurotransmitter acetylcholine levels. This chemical messenger exists in the nervous system and controls muscle contractions and hormone secretion. It is also important for memory functioning and thinking in the brain. The most common drugs used to treat Alzheimer's are cholinesterase inhibitors. This type of medicine raises levels of brain acetylcholine through the medications donezepil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), galantamine (Reminy), and tetrabycroaminoacridine (Cognex). However these medicines result in several side effects such as anorexia, cramps, diarrhea, insomnia, nausea and fatigue. Luckily, the medication is usually tolerated by most people in a week. A new kind of medication for Alzheimer’s disease alters the function of neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain. This neurotransmitter is important for learning and memory.

Behavioral Approach: When patients of Alzheimer's Disease begin to lose cognitive functions, they become extremely sensitive to their surroundings. Familiar surroundings helps increase a patient's cognitive functioning. Increasing a sense of security and having them do daily routines also maximize a patient’s cognitive functioning. Putting up clocks, calendars, nightlights, checklists, diaries, etc. can help a person with Alzheimer’s jog their memory. Also, having newspapers, a radio and T.V. will allow them to maintain awareness of their outside world. It is also very important to not expose them in too much attention, noise and people for they will become agitated and frightened. However, placing them with very little attention and people can cause depression and withdrawal. Objects that cause mood swings should be immediately removed from their living space. Alzheimer's Disease Home Page:Alzheimer's Disease- Videos