Geriatric Treatment for Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Progressive brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia are not curable but respond well to medications, supportive care, and environmental modifications. Although people with Alzheimer’s or dementia share similar cognitive and behavioral symptoms, the causes and tests used to diagnose them differ significantly.
Hickory Behavioral Hospital offers comprehensive treatment for people experiencing acute cognitive and behavioral symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s. We provide the highest quality of care to compassionately address and stabilize your loved one’s specific problems with medications, therapy, and experienced support services. To learn more about Hickory Behavioral Hospital, please call 800-668-0336.
Alzheimer’s vs Dementia
Imaging scans of brains affected by Alzheimer’s will show the presence of amyloid plaques that prevent brain cells from communicating with each other. In addition, doctors think the development of Alzheimer’s may involve genetic mutations triggered by a combination of lifestyle factors, such as smoking, lack of exercise, obesity, and alcohol abuse. Individuals with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and uncontrolled type 2 diabetes also seem more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s as they age.
Alternately, dementia arises from medical conditions that damage parts of the brain. Strokes, substance abuse, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and neurological disorders are commonly attributed to the onset of dementia. Instead of detecting Alzheimer’s “plaques and tangles”, brain imaging scans of people with dementia reveal a severe lack of blood flow within the brain (vascular dementia) or unusual clumps of proteins (Lewy body dementia) that disrupt signaling among neurons.
Another rarer type of dementia called frontotemporal dementia tends to impact adults under 60. It is diagnosed by the presence of TDP-43 and tau protein deposits in the frontal and temporal lobes.
Treatments for Alzheimer’s
Several medications have been approved by the US. FDA to treat symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Donepezil and Rivastigmine help improve memory loss and the ability to think more clearly. They may also delay the progression of Alzheimer’s in people with mild cognitive issues. Combining Donepezil with Memantine can be an effective treatment for alleviating moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s medications work by preventing the release of certain enzymes within the brain that break down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter implicated in judgment, memory, and learning. They may also reduce behavioral problems associated with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s, such as agitation, aggressiveness, and inappropriate actions.
The FDA’s Accelerated Approval Program has recently approved a newer medication called Aducanumab. It is the first Alzheimer’s drug that actually dissolves amyloid deposits primarily responsible for memory problems and general cognitive impairment.
Managing behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s involves medications, therapies, or both, depending on the severity of a person’s Alzheimer’s. In addition, other types of drugs may be prescribed to treat agitation, hallucinations, depression, or sleep disturbances seen in people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.
Modifying the environment in which someone with Alzheimer’s resides is meant to make it easier for them to perform daily tasks and be as self-sufficient as possible. For example, installing handrails throughout their home, removing objects that threaten their safety, and installing monitoring systems to keep track of loved ones prone to wandering are just a few ways to prevent falls and manage unexpected behaviors.
Treatments for Dementia
Medications, environmental modifications, and therapies for Alzheimer’s are also used to treat dementia. Additionally, memory aids such as alarms or a simple chalkboard can help remind dementia patients when to take their medications and if they have appointments to keep on any certain day. Establishing daily routines for people with dementia works well to reduce their memory issues, episodes of disorientation, and anxiety over the increasing awareness of their cognitive impairments.
Learn More About Geriatric Treatment for Alzheimer’s or Dementia by Calling Hickory Behavioral Hospital
The goal of our Alzheimer’s or dementia treatment services is to help your loved one remain safely in their home for as long as possible. If a loved one is experiencing symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s and needs immediate medical care, contact Hickory Behavioral Hospital by calling 800-668-0336.
Are you ready to turn away from the pain of withdrawal symptoms and regain control of your life? If so, Hickory Recovery drug addiction treatment programs can help you wean off fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. From detox to an intensive outpatient treatment program, we offer flexible programs tailored to each client.