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Alzheimer's Cure Elusive Despite Progress

Ronald Reagan's struggle shows how far we've come, how far we have to go.

Today's Alzheimer's Disease Treatments continued...

Other treatments don't affect Alzheimer's disease itself but can help reduce the agitation that often distresses patients and their caretakers. Agitation is the word used to describe the many behaviors that pop up as Alzheimer's disease progresses. These include personality changes, sleep disturbances, delusions, hallucinations, restlessness, and emotional disturbances.

Treatments include:

  • Behavioral interventions. Sometimes it helps to simplify a patient's environment and routine tasks. Patients may need extra rest between stimulating events. Labels or verbal cues can reduce disorientation.

  • Antidepressants.

  • Anxiety-reducing medications.

  • Antipsychotic medications.

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Reviewed on June 07, 2004

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