Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Treatments for Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's Disease has two distinct parts that can be treated. There are treatments available for the cognitive symptoms which include:

ability to pay attention
other thought processes

There are also treatments available for the behavioral and psychiatric symptoms. These include the ways we feel and act.

Talk to your doctor about what treatment may be right for you or the person in your care. A medication's effectiveness, and the side effects it may cause,,can vary from one person to the next. For one individual, one drug may be more effective but have greater side effects. For another person, the same drug may be less effective but have no side effects.

Ask the doctor the following questions when you discuss any treatments. They will not address all treatment needs, but the answers to these questions will help you understand the options and make informed decisions.

  • What kind of assessment will you use to determine if the drug is effective?
  • How much time will pass before you will be able to assess the drug's effectiveness?
  • How will you monitor for possible side effects?
  • What effects should we watch for at home?
  • When should we call you?
  • Is one treatment option more likely than another to interfere with medications for other conditions?
  • What are the concerns with stopping one drug treatment and beginning another?
  • At what stage of the disease would you consider it appropriate to stop using the drug?
Learn more at www.alz.org.

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