Alcohol Dementia (Symptoms & Treatments)

alcohol dementia

We are observing the negative effects and health problems of alcohol daily, including alcohol dementia.

This is a health condition that leads to SEVERE cognitive issues as well as improper neurological functioning.

Alcohol-Related Dementia

It is one of the detrimental effects of alcohol on the human body that not many people are aware of.

The illness can affect any person at any age more so the ones who are into consuming LARGE quantities of alcohol over a short period.

It is unlike other dementia types that normally affect the elderly.

This kind of intoxication deprives the body of important nutrients causing brain damage as well as harmful effects to major organs in the body. Including pancreas, liver, kidneys, and many more.

Note that alcohol has a direct negative effect on brain cells.

This results in a lack of insight, poor judgment, and difficulties making proper decisions. To some extent, alcohol-induced dementia is similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

They both affect COGNITIVE and MEMORY abilities.

Symptoms of Alcohol Dementia

symptoms of alcohol dementia
Alcohol-related dementia is influenced by two important factors:

Korsakoff syndrome

This is a condition that translates through frequent episodes of confusion, depression, memory issues, and inability to speak among others.

Dementia and alcohol are related in this case because excessive alcohol consumption prevents normal neurological functioning.

This leads to the development of dementia in people who abuse alcohol.

Wernicke’s encephalopathy

This occurs when an individual does not have a vitamin known as thiamine in their body.

Over-the-top drinking and vomiting normally cause this.

Drinking too much alcohol regularly results in thiamine deficiency.

Experts reckon that alcoholics typically develop Wernicke’s encephalopathy first, which then causes Korsakoff syndrome.

Ultimately, the SEVERE MEMORY ISSUES that are associated with Korsakoff syndrome will result in dementia that is caused by alcoholism.

Check out some of the most common symptoms that people who have dementia caused by alcoholism showcase.


This is one of the most common symptoms of this kind of dementia. People with the illness appear not to be in a position to think clearly.

Many feel disoriented and have a tough time making decisions or focusing.

Confusion normally makes a person experience sudden emotional changes like being agitated out of the blues.

An individual may also have incoherent speech and lack awareness of time or location.


A high percentage of individuals who have this illness will find themselves telling the same story over and over again without even realizing it.

In line with this, some will also ask the same question repeatedly because THEY HAVE NO recollection of the queries that have just been asked or answered.

When having a conversation with such individuals, do not be shocked if they keep repeating the same information over ten times.

Impulsivity problems

A person who has alcohol dementia may start to be reckless with their finances.

This is where an individual may get into a habit of making rash financial decisions purchasing items they do not need.

They may also become too generous with their money giving it out aimlessly.

Such people usually have a DIFFICULT time CONTROLLING EMOTIONS. One minute they may be the happiest beings on earth and the next they start crying.

Inability to perform motor tasks

You may notice that a person who has alcohol-related dementia has challenges performing both simple and complex motor tasks.

These can include walking, running, getting dressed, or getting up and down a flight of stairs.

Heavy alcohol abusers also experience damage to nerves in their legs and arms.

These people normally have issues with sensation, and they might also demonstrate unsteadiness on their feet.

An array of psychiatric problems

an array of psychiatric problems
Dementia that relates to alcohol is also known to produce various psychiatric issues. These can include disconnect from reality (psychosis), anxiety, depression, and changes in personality.

Some may also develop apathy which can be MISTAKEN for depression.

Impaired ability to learn new things

It can become very difficult for a person who has this type of dementia to start learning new things. This is because damage to the brain affects its comprehending and processing ability.

Other symptoms may include but are not limited to frequent headaches, anger episodes, slurred speech, mood swings, decreased spontaneity and initiative, and memory gaps.

Oddly, persons who have alcohol-related dementia may seem to be in total control of their faculties drawing correct deductions, playing games that require mental skills like cards or chess, and making witty remarks, etc.

Before concluding that a person has alcohol-related dementia, you must seek the services of a professional or doctor.

Because of the symptoms that the illness has, it becomes difficult to tell right away that dementia has been caused by alcohol abuse.

Doctors, however, can conduct several proper tests to come up with the right diagnosis.

The professionals will also be in a position to advise on how to combat the illness in the right way, depending on the individual.

Treatment for Alcohol Dementia

treatment for alcohol dementia
It is advisable to start treating alcohol-related dementia as fast as possible.

If we detect this dementia early enough, it means that the damage to the nerves and brain will not be excessive.

While the treatment process can be quite stressful for candidates with alcohol-induced dementia, it is necessary, if a person wants to PREVENT further health problems or death.

Studies show that women have more success reversing the effects of alcohol-related dementia than men.

Both genders, nonetheless, require support from their friends and family while undergoing treatment.

There are several treatment options that a person who has this dementia type can explore such as:

Quitting Alcohol

To cure this type of dementia, a person simply needs to quit drinking alcohol. When a person stops taking alcohol, it prevents further damage to nerves and brain function.

People with the illness can also show improvement by improving diet and exercising.

Alcoholism Treatment

alcoholism treatment
Quitting consumption of alcohol may not be the easiest thing to do. Doctors may put the person with dementia on alcoholism treatment when the situation is dire.

This typically consists of multiple IV infusions and therapies that attempt to replenish the vital nutrients the body has lost.

Most people will have to stay in a clinic or hospital for a certain period so that they can be monitored closely during the treatment.

Some who have the willing power may, however, go through alcoholism treatment successfully at home.

Others may even need a rehabilitation center to stay “clean.” This is because, during the treatment, a person MUST NOT touch even a single drop of alcohol.

It is usually a difficult moment because an alcoholic at this point has been used to the toxic substance to an extent that their bodies crave it and most feel like they cannot survive without a drink.

In such cases, alcoholism support groups can be helpful.

Thiamine Therapy

Thiamine therapy also helps with the treatment of dementia from the abuse of alcohol. This provides the body with the much-needed B1 or thiamine vitamin.

This vitamin is crucial in the body because it helps the brain cells convert sugar into energy.

When there is thiamine deficiency, it means that the brain cells will not have enough energy to function well.

The treatment comes highly recommended because it enhances the neurological functioning of people with alcohol-related dementia.

Additionally, it can also PREVENT this type of dementia FROM PROGRESSING to more dangerous stages.


It is important to incorporate counseling as part of treating dementia caused by alcoholism. This is where the affected person gets a chance to talk to professional therapists.

It can help identify the root cause of the problem to eliminate it. After dealing with what causes a person to OVERINDULGE in alcohol, the chances of relapsing become slimmer.

Persons who have alcohol dementia may also benefit from services that memory clinics offer.

It is, therefore, wise to seek referrals from your doctor to point you in the direction of a good clinic.

You can also consider addiction programs that have been successful in helping people abstain from alcohol for the rest of their lives.

If the person who has dementia is living in a retirement community, remember to communicate this to the caregivers early enough. This is because not all communities may be aware of the health condition.

Some may not even have the proper resources to extend beneficial care.

If you find yourself in such a situation, continue searching until you can identify the community that will be the right fit.

Alcohol Dementia Final Remarks

To clarify things, alcohol dementia mostly affects people who drink EXCESSIVELY.

It is very rare for a person who gets tipsy once a week by having a few wine or beer glasses to develop the illness.

Individuals who are at risk are the ones who frequently intoxicate themselves with alcohol and suffer from hangover symptoms almost every day.

These are the people who are always feeling dizzy and vomit all the time.

Not treating the disease early enough can make it an incurable health condition.

Nonetheless, administering proper treatment on time gives alcoholics a chance to lead a happy, alcohol-free life.

15+ Best Dementia Anxiety Treatment Practices

dementia anxiety treatment

There are multiple different approaches to the best dementia anxiety treatment practices that are crucial for an individual with the disease.

Anxiety is one of the behavioral conditions that many people with dementia experience.

Studies estimate that about 25%-70% of the dementia population showcases anxiety symptoms.

Anxiety in Dementia

Anxiety can be described as a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, worry, or unease about something/ an uncertain outcome.

Often, this is usually healthy and normal emotion. The problem only comes in when an individual continually feels an inappropriate anxiety level to the extent that it becomes a medical disorder.

Medics usually have a tough time diagnosing anxiety because most of the symptoms overlap those of depression and agitation in dementia.

However, some factors are chief to anxiety according to experts such as:

Anxiety symptoms are known to alter how a person behaves and processes emotions. For some, they can also lead to physical symptoms.

Quality of life diminishes for persons who have dementia and anxiety, and they typically have more challenges with their day-to-day activities.

This is in comparison to the ones who have dementia without anxiety.

Nonetheless, the association between anxiety and the decline of dementia is still not crystal clear.

Best Dementia Anxiety Treatment Options

There is no debate that anxiety is the cause of negative consequences for caregivers and people with dementia.

It is the reason affected individuals are constantly seeking the most effective dementia anxiety treatment methods.

Below we shed some light on some of the best practices that people can follow to deal with anxiety in persons who have dementia efficiently.

Pharmacological Treatment

pharmacological treatment
Doctors might recommend some type of drugs to help deal with anxiety like:


The drugs are prescribed to persons who have severe responses to anxiety-like emotional outbursts and panic attacks.

The medications kick in to keep a person relaxed and calm. It’s important to note that the drugs can be habit-forming.

They are also associated with side effects like drowsiness and slowed breathing that can become worse over time.

For this reason, doctors advise that a person should not take the drugs more than two weeks consecutively.

Seniors especially can be sensitive to the side effects; hence, they need close monitoring when they are taking the medication.

Benzodiazepines are examples of some of the medications that people with anxiety can take for a short while. People who cannot take Benzodiazepines for one reason or another may be put on helpful antidepressants.

Medics usually choose the medication that a person will take depending on their side effect profile, potential cognitive perks, and at times potential to address insomnia.


In most cases, anxiety is commonly present with depression. When this is the case, taking antidepressants can offer a person plenty of benefits.

Because there are multiple antidepressants in the market, it is important to get guidance from a professional doctor on the specific ones to take.

Be sure to report any side effects so that the professional can give direction on whether to stop or continue taking the drugs.


Some elderly persons with dementia and anxiety fail to show therapeutic responses to benzodiazepine and antidepressant treatment.

In such special cases, the use of antipsychotics may be advisable to help manage anxiety in dementia.


dementia anxiety treatment
People who have dementia and anxiety can also benefit from various therapies to help get rid of anxiety.

These are therapies that have relaxation and supportive components as they usually do a commendable job when it comes to dementia anxiety treatment. Examples of therapies that a person can try out include:

Music Therapy

There is evidence that music therapy directed by a qualified professional helps to reduce agitation, which is one of the anxiety symptoms.

CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy)

It is one of the psychological therapies that help many prevent the occurrence of anxiety. It assists the person with dementia and anxiety to evaluate thinking about the challenges they face.

This teaches them to change the way they think as well as their reactions to various situations.

IPT (Interpersonal Therapy)

This is also helpful for treating different types of anxiety. It helps individuals to discover fresh ways of getting along with other people.

This also allows them to perform better in terms of resolving losses, conflict, and changes in relationships.

Pet Therapy

pet therapy for people with dementia
People who have dementia and anxiety can also benefit from pet therapy.

The therapy can include companions from pets like trained dogs, cats, fish aquariums, and bird aviaries, etc.

Domestic animals are particularly helpful when it comes to reducing feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.

Other benefits that a person can enjoy spending quality time with pets they love include:

Laughter Yoga

laughter yoga treatment for dementia
This is a yoga technique that seeks to bring people together so that they can share in the joys of laughter.

Laughter Incorporated reckons that there are over seven hundred laughter clubs in seventy countries.

This type of yoga combines intentional yogic breathing and laughter. Laughter for no reason is the main focus.

This is because the body does not know the difference between fake and real laughter thus can benefit from both without a problem. Inducing laughter can help reduce anxiety.

Some studies suggest that laughter can have the same effects as antipsychotic medications without side effects.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

transcranial magnetic stimulation
This is another effective dementia anxiety treatment option. It is a non-invasive way of using magnetism on the brain.

It has been known to treat anxiety in dementia, where a person will not respond to various medications and therapies.

Because it is still relatively new, more research and clinical trials still need to be conducted to give conclusive reports.

This said the treatment has been used successfully on many persons who have dementia.

Person-Centered Care

person centered care for dementia
Individualized care can help offer some relief to anxious people. It is especially beneficial for people with mild anxiety.

It helps to offer a listening ear to know what is happening in a person’s life.

From here, one can offer reassurance to calm down the person with dementia.

If they agree to be touched, caregivers should hug or hold their hands to remind them that they are safe and they can ask for help anytime.

It’s vital to check the emotional triggers that might be behind the anxiousness.

These could be things like the person feeling thirsty, hunger, wearing uncomfortable clothes, feeling pain, being too cold, hot, or need to use the washrooms.

If this is the case, offer practical solutions immediately like giving them a drink, food, snack, blanket, or change of clothes depending on the situation.

A person might also be feeling lonely, bored, or experiencing hallucinations, etc.

At this point, it is vital to identify activities that they love to keep them engaged so that they have something pleasant to look forward to.

Working Out

working out as a dementia anxiety treatment
Exercise also works as part of the dementia anxiety treatment plan. Working out helps to ease anxiety. Exercising does not have to be at the gym under a professional trainer.

Going out for walks, dancing, or a little gardening also counts as working out. Aerobic exercises, in particular, may be as effective as taking antidepressants.

Massages and deep breathing exercises can also offer some form of relief.

Needless to say, exercise goes hand in hand with good eating habits. Diet should include coconut oil, nuts, cinnamon, vitamin E, extra virgin olive oil, berries, turmeric, and berries.

An individual might also try the Mediterranean diet.

Modify Living Environment

modify living environment for people with dementia
Making adjustments to a person’s living space can also help persons who have dementia anxiety.

This is by ensuring the ill person stays in an environment that is safer and calmer.

Cutting background noises from the radio or TV can create a calmer space.

It is also important that they have a better structure for daily life, including activities that the individual finds meaningful.

Getting rid of clutter might make daily tasks more manageable. The use of night-lights or low-lighting can also help a person with anxiety feel less afraid and confused at night.

Joining Support Groups

dementia anxiety treatment joining support groups
Becoming a member of a support group can prove to be invaluable for a person who has dementia anxiety. It helps them meet other people who are in a similar situation.

This can help a person to feel more calm or relaxed because they get to understand that they are not the only ones with the problem.

The meeting sessions prove to be useful in terms of reducing anxiety and improving mood.

The groups also act as impactful resource centers where individuals can find heaps of information they can use to manage anxiety effectively.

Dementia Anxiety Treatment Closing Thoughts

Trying out different dementia anxiety treatment methods is crucial for a person with dementia.

This helps identify the most successful ones to help improve the life of the suffering individual significantly.

Before attempting any treatment option, it is important to consult a doctor to get the green light to go ahead.

The expert can also recommend the proper mix of drugs and caregiving tips to work with.

How Do You Treat Dementia Naturally?

how do you treat dementia naturally

After a positive dementia diagnosis, some people may ask how do you treat dementia naturally.

Before answering this question, it is important to note that there is currently no cure for dementia.

Affected persons can, however, take some steps that will help to treat symptoms of the illness or help slow down its progression.

There are two ways of doing this.

The first includes taking medication while the other focuses on alternative treatments.

Natural Treatments for Dementia

The primary aim of treatment is to create a better quality of life for ill individuals. Below we will highlight some of the options available when a person wants to treat dementia naturally.

Eating a Healthy Diet

treat dementia naturally by eating a healthy diet
Some studies confirm that diet plays a vital role in slowing down the progression of dementia.

Some foods like leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, herbs, some oils (CBD oil, olive oil, etc.), nuts, fruits, cruciferous vegetables, and other superfoods come highly recommended not only for treating the disease but reducing its risk as well.

Use of Supplements

treat dementia naturally by use of supplements
Supplements are another answer given to the question of how do you treat dementia naturally.

Several supplements are known to be beneficial to persons suffering from dementia.

The most popular one is Ginkgo biloba which comes from trees from the Maidenhair tree.

It is in use in America for years, but it still needs a prescription in many countries in Europe.

Ginkgo biloba is said to have three primary active ingredients namely bilobalide, ginkgolides, and flavonoids that help in promoting blood flow, inhibiting inflammation, and reducing the damage that free radicals cause.

Numerous trials reveal that the supplement helps to improve cognition in individuals with dementia. Other supplements that people with the neurodegenerative illness can try include Omega-3 fatty acids, Ginseng, Vitamins B12 & B9, Vitamin E, Huperzine, and Vitamin D.

Remember to exercise extreme caution when taking supplements because, in most cases, the remedies are not regulated.

It is always best to consult your doctor before you start taking any supplements.

Different Therapies

different therapies
Some therapies can work very well in treating numerous dementia behavior problems and symptoms, such as:

Occupational therapy

A professional occupational therapist can work with individuals with dementia as well as their families to teach coping behaviors.

The expert can also offer insight on how to modify the affected person’s living space to make it safer and more comfortable.

This is one to manage behavior, prevent accidents like slipping and falling, and also prepare everyone involved for dementia progression.

Music Therapy

This can help to promote relaxation and reduce agitation especially if it involves listening to soothing music.

What’s best, almost everyone can introduce music therapy to their lives.

Pet Therapy

The therapy involves the use of domestic animals like cats and dogs. This has been known to improve the behavior and moods of people with dementia.

Art Therapy

This entails getting weak individuals to participate in creative art focusing on the process instead of the results.

Reality Orientation Training

This comes in handy as the disease continues to progress and a person starts to forget important details. It involves going over basic things like the time, date, and person’s name.

Bright Light Therapy

Many people who have dementia will experience sleep disruptions because the disease affects the region of the brain that regulates the circadian rhythm that tells the body when to wake up and sleep.

Light therapy can help to restore a person’s sleep-wake cycle. Not to mention, bright light therapy works in reducing agitation, too.


This is the use of essential oils to improve well-being. A short-term study revealed that therapy can help improve thinking abilities in seniors.

Some oils commonly used for aromatherapy include lavender, lemon, rosemary, and orange.

Reminiscence Therapy

This involves the process of allowing persons with dementia to remember the good old days.

In short, you can do reminisce therapy by talking about their past life, viewing pictures and videos, or listening to music that helps them remember treasured memories.


exercise helping dementia
Exercise is another solution available for persons asking how do you treat dementia naturally.

Persons with dementia can get multiple benefits from exercising. These include enhanced balance, strength, and cardiovascular health.

Experts also explain that exercise can help to effectively manage symptoms like restlessness.

Additionally, staying physically active can help a person sleep better.

Growing evidence also reveals that exercise can help protect the human brain from dementia especially when it is combined with treating cardiovascular disease risk factors and a healthy diet.

Research also states that physical activity can help reduce depression symptoms as well as slow down the progression of impaired thinking in persons who have dementia.

Exercise does not have to be something strenuous that will end up frustrating an individual. It can be something light and enjoyable such as gardening, taking walks, swimming, and dancing.

The workouts must also be safe to do depending on a person’s ability.

Coconut Oil

coconut oil for dementia
Processed coconut oil contains a fatty acid known as caprylic acid.

The body breaks down this acid into a protein known as ketone. For your information, Ketasyn is a drug that uses a similar protein.

Some researchers claim that individuals who took Ketasyn recorded less cognitive decline and improved memory performance.

Instead of taking the drug, some individuals are taking processed coconut oil to reap the benefits.


acupuncture and dementia
Some people believe strongly that acupuncture can help in dementia treatment. This is why we had to include it as one of the responses of how do you treat dementia naturally.

Acupuncture defines an alternative medicine option that used fine sterile needles to promote self-healing.

The therapist uses needles to stimulate the body while improving energy flow.

Some studies show that acupuncture can help improve cognitive function and mood for people with dementia.

Others claim that it can help to relieve pain and increase energy levels. This is worth trying out as it presents little risk.

A licensed and trained practitioner must, however, perform the therapy.


dementia and reflexology
This is the practice of careful hand and foot massage with the aim of alleviating pain and reducing distress.

Massages for a long time have been known to improve the quality of life for individuals who have dementia. It can also help to brighten up someone’s mood.

Social Interaction

social interaction
Some problems that people with dementia face stem from social isolation. It is one of the main reasons social interactions are a part of the answers to the query of how do you treat dementia naturally.

Psychosocial interactions can help improve cognition and the general well-being of persons who have dementia.

An individual can do this in different ways such as participating in group activities that help to bring joy to the elderly.

Sensory activities are also important especially when the affected individuals have challenges with communication because they can help identify new ways to communicate with peers and caregivers.

These can include things like dancing and art activities like pottery.

Challenging the Brain

challenging the brain helping dementia
Another way you can treat dementia naturally is through keeping the brain active. If the impaired person enjoys Sudoku or crossword puzzles, set time apart for them to engage in these activities.

If they do not like such, caregivers must identify some of the hobbies that the person with dementia may like.

This can be anything from going to church for service, listening to music, playing an instrument, cooking, playing card games, reading a book, or other mentally engaging activities.

The internet is a great resource for cognitive games that individuals with dementia can try out to keep their brains active and healthy.

Quality Sleep

quality sleep
A good night’s sleep is another solution available for people seeking answers to how do you treat dementia naturally.

Researchers constantly remind people that there is a strong link between sleep and cognition.

Persons who have dementia may have problems with sleeping. Some may end up sleeping too much during the day and end up tossing and turning most of the night.

Lack of sleep can worsen a majority of dementia symptoms.

This is why caregivers and family members need to ensure that their loved ones who have dementia get enough rest and quality sleep each night.

An individual may have to go through cognitive behavioral therapy that can help improve insomnia symptoms and those of depression as well.

Sticking to a schedule can also help a person know when it is time to sleep.

If you cannot solve the problem at home, do not shy away from consulting a doctor who will offer a practical solution.

Closing Thoughts

Even though dementia may not have a cure yet, it does not mean that a person with the disease has to suffer immensely for the rest of their lives.

Above are some of the examples of natural treatment that individuals with dementia can try out to improve quality of life and relieve some negative symptoms that are brought by the disease.

Because there are several options, caregivers should make sure that they only explore the ones that are working with a particular individual.

Some persons may find some options too patronizing. Drop them immediately and try others until you identify the ones that bring out the best results.

Do Neurologists Treat Dementia?

do neurologists treat dementia

The common question that arises amongst the general public is whether or not do neurologists treat dementia.

While there are various specialists who can diagnose dementia, many patients are referred to a neurologist who determines the type of dementia, as well as treatment options.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a neurologic disease affecting cognition, involving the different aspects of cognitive function (memory, language, attention, social life, planning, and motor skills).

Dementia represents a decline that is severe enough to interfere with daily life and independence. When people think of dementia, Alzheimer’s comes to mind, and that’s because Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia.

Alzheimer’s is responsible for about 60-80% of all dementias in older adults. With an aging population, the overall prevalence of dementia is increasing worldwide.

what is dementia

Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time. In the early stages, it may be diagnosed at mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is an in-between stage between normal cognition and dementia.

MCI may progress to dementia.

What are different kinds of dementia?

what are different kinds of dementia
The most common dementia in older adults is Alzheimer’s Disease. However, about 20% of patients with dementia have another form of dementia.

The main dementia syndromes include Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson disease dementia and variants, and vascular or stroke-related dementia.

Who can diagnose dementia and why a neurologist?

who can diagnose dementia
Dementia is a diagnosis made by a physician.

While it does not have to be a neurologist to diagnose dementia, many patients are referred to a neurologist to determine what type of dementia they have and to help with treatment options and symptom management.

A primary care physician can make a presumptive diagnosis of dementia if a patient fits certain criteria, and the symptoms are not explained by another mental disorder (such as major depressive disorder or another psychiatric condition).

A neurologist can help distinguish between the different types of dementia.

In some cases, advanced neuropsychiatric testing is done to better clarify the type of dementia.

How is dementia diagnosed?

how is dementia diagnosed
A full dementia evaluation cannot be done in a quick office visit; a family member or a close friend should accompany the patient to their primary physician or neurologist and be able to recount the history over the past several weeks, months, and even years.

The first steps include a complete history and physical examination, neurologic examination, and laboratory or imaging workup.

The history, or story of the patient’s symptoms, is crucial to the diagnosis.

A doctor might ask when the patient first noticed memory loss, how it has progressed, and what sorts of things he or she is not able to do anymore independently (activities of daily living, or ADLs).

Certain details are key, such as loss of vision or strength, prominent personality changes, behavioral problems, hallucinations, sleep problems, and risk-taking behaviors.

There are several tests available to help with the diagnosis of dementia, which will be discussed further below.

A full evaluation includes a physical and neurologic exam, laboratory testing, and most times imaging tests such as a CT scan or an MRI of the brain.

By official definition, dementia is diagnosed when there is cognitive impairment in at least one cognitive domain (memory, language, attention, executive function, motor function, social function) that is progressive and interferes with independence in every-day activities, that is not explained by another medical or psychiatric disorder.

Why refer to a neurologist for dementia?

why refer to a neurologist for dementia
A neurologist will be helpful in diagnosing dementia, especially in distinguishing between different types of dementia as their treatments differ.

Also, a neurologist will perform a careful history and exam including labs and imaging to make sure there is nothing else being missed that would otherwise explain the symptoms of dementia.

In addition, a neurologist trained in cognitive neurology will have special expertise on managing the symptoms of dementia including the newest medications, clinical trials, and symptom management.

Often times, a neurologist will be able to give a prognosis and help guide family members through this chronic, progressive illness.

What does a neurologist examine for a dementia patient?

what does a neurologist examine for a dementia patient
After taking a careful history of the symptoms, a neurologist will begin with a general physical examination.

Part of this includes the neurologic exam.

A neurologic exam contains six major components; mental status exam, cranial nerve exam, motor exam, sensory exam, reflexes, and cerebellar exam.

Abnormalities on the neurologic exam may give the neurologist clues as to what the diagnosis is.

The mental status exam will assess for orientation, attention, memory, visuospatial function, and language. Some common tools are the MOCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) and MMSE (Mini-Mental State Examination).

These are a short series of tasks a neurologist may ask you to fill out, and based on how you score, can help in categorizing the types of deficits and hint as to the type of dementia.

What treatments might a neurologist prescribe for dementia?

what treatments might a neurologist prescribe for dementia
There are a few medications that are approved for the treatment of Alzheimer Disease. These include cholinesterase inhibitors (such as donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine).

These medications work by modulating neurotransmitters in the brain and have some modest symptomatic benefit in patients with dementia.

Another category of medication includes Memantine, which is an NMDA-receptor antagonist. This works by blocking a different neurotransmitter (NMDA) which may protect the brain.

This also has been shown to have very modest benefits.

Neurologists may prescribe medications to help certain symptoms of dementia, such as behavioral disturbances, hallucinations, sleep problems, depression, agitation, and aggression.

These may include antidepressants, antipsychotics and various other medications.

Nutrition, physical therapy and cognitive rehab are also things a neurologist may consider in the multidisciplinary approach to dementia care.

What conditions can be mistaken for dementia?

what conditions can be mistaken for dementia
There are certain conditions that can mimic dementia. It is essential to make sure these conditions are not responsible for the symptoms, as they are often reversible and treatable.

A good neurologist will rule out “reversible” causes and mimics of dementia.

There are certain “red flags” that should not be missed; these include young age, rapidly progressive dementia (ie someone getting much worse within days, weeks or a few months), or an abnormal or asymmetric neurologic exam such as weakness on one side of the body.

These will need an expedited and different type of evaluation than the standard dementia workup.

Many people confuse the signs of normal aging with dementia.

Normal aging does include a slight degree of cognitive decline including mild changes in memory and information processing. Some people visit their doctor for these symptoms, worried that they may have dementia.

Normal aging is quickly recognizable from dementia

However, normal aging is easily distinguishable from dementia.

It is generally not very progressive and does not affect daily function.

Examples include forgetting where one left the keys or some items on the shopping list at the grocery store.

There are other medical conditions that can mimic dementia. One is delirium.

Delirium is a condition of confusion and an altered sense of awareness of one’s surroundings.

Delirium is often associated with an underlying medical condition, such as an infection, metabolic issue, or prolonged hospitalization.

The time course of delirium (much shorter) and the fluctuations in attention are characteristic and distinguishable from dementia.

Vitamin deficiency, specifically of Vitamin B12 can contribute to dementia, so this should be checked and supplemented if low.

Thyroid tests, and sometimes HIV or syphilis testing is done to make sure symptoms are not due to these other treatable medical conditions.

Depression is an important mimic of dementia. In fact, depression causing dementia has been named “pseudodementia” or “dementia of depression.”

This is because people with uncontrolled depression may exhibit signs similar to dementia (physical and cognitive slowing, giving poor effort, being unable to function in activities of daily life).

It is crucial to recognize pseudodementia because it can be treated and reversed with appropriate psychiatric and psychological care.


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Petersen RC, Smith G, Kokmen E, et al. Memory function in normal aging. Neurology 1992; 42:396.

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Can Dementia be Treated?

can dementia be treated

For the longest time, there has been no positive answer for people who ask can dementia be treated.

This is something that has changed in the recent past where some experts claim that treatment for dementia is now possible.

One of them is Dr. Dale Bredesen the author of “The End of Alzheimer’s: The Frist Program, to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline” developed the ReCODE (Reversal of COgnitive DEcline) program.

This is said to be a dementia treatment program.

But is it really?

Bredesen believes that he has the solution for anyone asking can dementia be reversed.

The doctor based his program on studying different dementia disease mechanisms. It is in alignment with the principles of functional and integrative medicine.

Dr. Dale states that the program is a full-spectrum functional medicine approach that addresses all the physiological imbalances and dysfunctions that people with dementia experience.

This focuses on bringing back the balance to the brain that dementia interferes with.

The core strategies for treating dementia according to this program are based on diet, lifestyle, supplements, herbs, and medications often in this order.

The approach that a person takes depends on the type of dementia they are battling.

Some people may benefit from correcting nocturnal oxygenation while others will get treatment through a low-glycemic diet.

A percentage of those with dementia can also try detoxification for treatment while others may require controlling inflammation or balancing hormones.

What is the best treatment for dementia?

Many studies, however, still state that the answer is still “NO” when you ask can dementia be treated. Instead of offering a cure for dementia, many experts offer solutions that can help to manage symptoms of the disease like:


dementia treatment medications
Medics have identified several drugs that can be used to improve some dementia symptoms temporarily such as:

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

These are medicines that help to boost the levels of a chemical messenger that is involved in judgment and memory.


These are drugs that are manufactured to help regulate glutamate activities. This is a chemical messenger that is responsible for a variety of brain functions like memory and learning.

A doctor may also prescribe other medications that treat other conditions or symptoms like hallucinations, agitation, sleep disturbances, and depression.

Note that some medicines may have severe side effects; thus, it is important not to self-medicate when you have dementia.

Consult a professional doctor who will assist in the identification of the most effective drugs. Medics also recommend routine vision and hearing checks.

Having problems with vision or hearing can escalate some of the dementia symptoms that an individual experiences.

Doctors can quickly identify whether the person needs hearing aids or new eyeglass prescriptions so that the individual with dementia is more comfortable.


dementia treatment therapies
Medics can recommend various types of therapies when a person asks can dementia be reversed.

The non-drug approaches can be used to take care of various behavioral problems or symptoms that persons with dementia may have. These include:

Occupational Therapy

This helps persons with dementia maintain the ability to conduct meaningful activities for the longest possible time.

Do not forget to check all the amazing benefits of occupational therapy, too.

Cognitive stimulation therapies

These are designed to help with language abilities, memory, and problem-solving skills to keep the mind active.

Reminiscence Work

These are done to enhance wellbeing and mood. We put together an in-depth overview of the reminiscence therapy for people with dementia.

Reality Orientation

This is where experts work with persons with dementia to help them remember basic things like the time, date, and names.

Talking Therapies

A person with dementia can go through counseling to help them come to terms with what they are going through or discuss what they feel.

Lifestyle Changes

can dementia be treated
Experts also recommend lifestyle changes for persons seeking answers to can dementia be treated.

These include things like staying active, sleeping well, eating foods that help with their current situation, staying organized, and brain workouts amongst others.

Closing Remarks

Research is still ongoing to conclusively answer the question can dementia be treated?

This is because some experts strongly claim that dementia can be cured or reversed while others say that there is still no cure.

Hopefully, soon, all dementia experts will speak in the same voice.

In short, if it is not already in the later stages, it can be alleviated. Meaning, identifying it early enough is crucial for the more comfortable living of the patient.

15+ Best Lewy Body Dementia Treatment Options

lewy body dementia treatment

After a person has been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, the first thing they want to know is the options available in regards to Lewy body dementia treatment.

This is a type of dementia that develops when abnormal protein deposits, also known as Lewy bodies, are found in various areas of the brain.

These round, smooth lumps end up disrupting the normal functioning of the brain.

Sadly, to date, there is still no cure for the condition.

Best Lewy Body Dementia Treatment

There are some treatment options, however, available to help treat specific LBD symptoms, such as:

Use of Medications

There are different types of drugs that specialists can recommend for individuals who have Lewy body dementia as follow.

Cholinesterase Inhibitors

cholinesterase inhibitors
These are medications for Alzheimer’s disease that help to boost the levels of chemical messengers understood to be vital for judgment, memory, and thought in the brain.

Apparently, they enhance cognition and alertness. In some cases, they also help to reduce hallucinations and a host of other behavioral problems.

Drugs that your doctor may prescribe to help with these include Exelon, Razadyne, or Aricept among others.

Parkinson’s disease Medicine

parkinson's disease medicine
Some drugs can help reduce some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease like slow movement and rigid muscles. These are drugs like Duopa, Rytary, and Sinemet, etc.

After taking these, you may find that a person can walk better and they experience less muscle stiffness.


This is a drug that works by blocking the effects a person gets when they have excess amounts of glutamate, a chemical in the brain. It is mainly used by individuals who have moderate or severe dementia with Lewy bodies.

It’s also suitable for those who cannot take inhibitors for one reason or another.

Physicians may also recommend medications to treat some of the symptoms and signs that people with Lewy body dementia have.

Some individuals may be put on anti-psychotic drugs or tranquilizers to help lessen agitation.

Those who are facing depression may also get Antidepressants. These may offer solutions for sleep issues or movement problems.

Depending on how the body reacts to the illness, the person with Lewy body dementia may be on one or multiple drugs at the same time.

Before you take any drug to help with the medical condition, it is important to check any side effects they may bring about.

Some of the drugs above may bring about increased delusions, hallucinations, and confusion depending on the drug you are taking.

This is why it is important to consult widely with professionals before you start taking any medication.

Many doctors will start administering the medication in low doses, and if it is beneficial to the person with dementia, they increase the dosage levels over time.

If you experience any side effects, report to the physician immediately so that the professional will advise on whether to discontinue the drug or not.

When using medicine as part of the Lewy body dementia treatment plan, it is advisable to stay away from drugs that have anticholinergic properties.

These may end up making the condition worse because of the numerous adverse side effects they can cause. First-generation antipsychotic medications are also on the list of medications to avoid.

These can cause severe Parkinsonism, confusion, sedation, and can also be fatal.

Non-Drug Treatment Options

non-drug dementia treatment options
Non-drug approaches can also be part of the comprehensive Lewy body dementia treatment plan.

Depending on an individual, one may combine medication and these treatment varieties while others may stick to one type of treatment.

There are several options people have when it comes to non-medicinal treatment options, such as:


People who have Lewy body dementia can benefit from different types of therapies, like:

1. Speech therapy

This can come in handy for individuals who experience poor enunciation and low voice volume. Experts agree that it can also help with swallowing challenges and enhancing muscle strength.

2. Physical therapy

Some of the options available include flexibility, strengthening and cardiovascular exercises as well as gait training.

Doctors may also advise a person with Lewy dementia to be active in a physical fitness program to engage in activities like water exercises, aerobics, and strengthening exercises.

3. Occupational therapy

It is also highly recommended because it may assist in maintaining skills as well as promoting independence and function.

Do not miss our complete overview of the different benefits of occupational therapy.

4. Psychological therapies

These can include cognitive stimulation where a person engages in exercises and other actives that help to enhance language ability, problem-solving skills, and memory.

5. Mental health counseling

This helps persons with dementia with Lewy bodies to learn how to better cope with their emotions and behavior changes.

Complementary Therapies

Lewy body dementia treatment complementary therapies
There are other forms of therapies that can help people who have Lewy body dementia feel better, like:

1. Pet therapy

For most people spending time with pets, they love can be an automatic mood booster. Getting a cat, dog, bird, or any other animal that a person loves can be just what they need to feel better.

2. Supplements and vitamins

Studies suggest that people with dementia with Lewy bodies lack adequate vitamins and nutrients in their bodies, something that can make the illness worse.

Taking adequate supplements and vitamins can help to take care of this problem. Just consult with your physician before taking anything because some of the supplements can interact with the drugs you are taking.

3. Aroma, dance, and music therapy

These usually work to improve an individual’s mood and also reduce anxiety by soothing and calming an individual.

We also created individual articles about aromatherapy, dance therapy and music therapy, where you can learn about all the benefits.

4. Massage

A person may also need professional massages once in a while to help with relaxation.

Home Modifications

home modifications
Although this may not be direct Lewy body dementia treatment options, some changes around the house can help a person with dementia to be more comfortable.

Several things can be done under this including:

1. Reducing clutter

With the help of a professional caregiver, it is crucial to modify the environment where the person with Lewy body dementia will be spending most of their time.

This can include using calming colors and removing things that can distract the person with the illness so that they can function better.

2. Make adjustment

Removing potential trip hazards like loose carpets can be of great help to persons with Lewy body dementia.

It is also vital to make sure that the affected person stays in a well-lit place. Adding handrails and grab bars is also a great idea.

You should also arrange furniture in such a way that it will not get in the way and cause problems.

Other Lewy body dementia treatment options that can be of assistance include:

1. Family psychotherapy

This helps people who want to support the patient with Lewy body dementia to learn how to effectively manage behavioral and emotional symptoms to co-exist well with their loved ones.

2. Getting quality sleep

It is common for people with Lewy body dementia to experience episodes of sleep disturbance.

It is, however, important for caregivers and individuals to try as much as possible to get restful nights as this also helps with treatment.

Some of the things that people can do include napping less during the daytime, engaging in physical exercise and having regular bed-time and waking-up time.

It is also advisable to avoid caffeine and nicotine when you are just about to jump into bed. Keeping the sleeping area quiet at comfortable temperatures can also help a great deal.

3. Stimulating mental functioning

You can do this easily by playing games and puzzles that demand thinking skills.

4. Support group

A person with dementia with Lewy bodies can also join a support group. These allow them to be surrounded by other people who have similar illnesses so that a person does not feel like they are alone.

Sharing experiences of the illnesses can also help one to identify practical solutions that they can use daily to reduce frustrations.

These may also encourage members to take part in exciting activities they like so that they can take their mind off the illness and enjoy life a little bit.

5. Creating routines

Having set structures and routines has been known to be beneficial to people with dementia because it helps to reduce confusion.

It can also help to enhance independence, especially during the first stages of the illness.

Final thoughts

Because people with Lewy body dementia usually experience the condition differently, it is important to be very careful when selecting the ideal Lewy body dementia treatment option.

What may work for one person may end up making your situation worse. Do not self-medicate simply because you read somewhere that there are drugs people with dementia can take to manage symptoms.

Always work with an expert physician who will closely monitor any medication or non-drug treatment you are on to know whether it is good for your body or not.

It’s also essential to conduct thorough research because they are new treatment methods cropping up often.

This will not only help you stay informed, but you can discuss the new developments with your doctor to pick a treatment option that will work for you.

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