Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, medication and management techniques can improve a patient's memory, thinking, behavior and functioning, according to a new practice guideline released in the journal Neurology.
"People with Alzheimer's now have real treatment options that can help improve their quality of life," said Rachelle Doody, MD, PhD, lead author of the guideline and an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.
The guideline recommends medications called cholinesterase inhibitors as standard care for people who have mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin E can also be used to slow the progression of the disease, and antipsychotic or antidepressant drugs can control behavioral problems associated with Alzheimer's disease under certain circumstances. Management techniques that don't involve drugs and caregiver education can help patients maintain functional abilities, such as bladder incontinence, and delay nursing home placement.
The guidelines are available on the American Academy of Neurology's website at www.aan.com.