|Introduction Diagnosis Managing Alzheimer's |
Clinical Trials Resources
Like any other serious health issue, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease adds a major new dimension to a physician-patient relationship. No current treatment can slow or stop the progression of the disease. Yet Alzheimer’s can be medically managed in a way that optimizes the quality of life for both patients and their families. This medical management often includes the use of medications that help individuals with Alzheimer’s do more in their daily activities or maintain abilities for a longer period.
The physician assisting with primary management of Alzheimer’s disease plays a crucial role in helping patients and families:
- Appreciate that life does not stop with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
- Select optimal prescription drugs for cognitive and behavioral symptoms, with full knowledge of their potential benefits and risks.
- Discuss with patient and family members the side effects, benefits and risks of drugs and what to watch for; provide any guidance in writing.
- Develop strategies to cope with changes in cognition and behavior.
- Address safety issues, including the home environment, driving and wandering.
- Optimize management of co-existing conditions.
- Identify and access appropriate services. Your local Alzheimer's Association can be a resource. Provide this information in a handout to patient and family.
- Understand approaches to keeping the patient independent as long as possible.
- Become aware of local clinical studies. As a result of accelerating progress in Alzheimer's research, dozens of studies at any given time are seeking to recruit participants with dementia or milder memory loss. Researchers are especially interested in patients with no co-existing medical conditions.
- Learn more about prevention and risk of Alzheimer's disease.