Most diseases that cause dementia are progressive, which means that people with the disease get worse over time. Unfortunately, cures for most causes of dementia don't exist. Some medications, however, can temporarily improve symptoms and functioning and may slow the progression of the basic disease process.
Efforts to find effective drug therapy for dementia have frustrated scientists. Many drugs used for dementia are limited by side effects, short duration of action, and the need for frequent monitoring of blood levels or other lab tests to prevent toxicity. Many assessment tools have been used to measure the effectiveness of dementia drugs, but effectiveness remains difficult to evaluate. Researchers continue to search for drugs with improved effectiveness and better tolerability.
Shopaholics are often born innocently enough. For Lynn Braz, for instance, shopping was a bona fide hobby until a pair of family tragedies pushed her over the edge. "When my sister died, the shopping went out of control," says the 47-year-old San Francisco writer. "The next thing I bought was going to be the magical thing that was going to fix me and make me feel good."
Let's face it, shopping can feel good. But beware: Although the uplift is real, a blue mood may short-circuit your ability to spot...