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.
Marjorie Lindholm is a survivor of the 1999 school shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Lindholm, who wrote a book titled A Columbine Survivor's Story, spoke with WebMD about her experiences and shares her advice for school shooting survivors and their loved ones.