How it Works - Treatment
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK
While a cure for dementia is still underway, there are medication and non-medication treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and slow cognitive decline. In addition, coordinated care with input from brain health experts plays an important role in optimizing overall brain health.
To maximize quality of life and independent functioning, treatments are directed at helping delay cognitive decline. The importance of delaying cognitive decline cannot be understated, especially in cases like dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease where delaying the onset by just 5 years could reduce your risk of getting it by 50%.
The main class of drugs currently used for the treatment of AD are acetylcholinesterase/ cholinesterase inhibitors. The three main medications that belong to this therapeutic class are donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine.
Cholinesterase inhibitors work by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger that is important for memory and learning, thereby supporting communication between nerve cells. Donepezil is approved to treat all stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Rivastigmine is used for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s as well as mild-to-moderate dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease. Galantamine, just like rivastigmine, is approved for mild-to-moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Another medication often used is memantine, which is partially inhibits NMDA receptors in the brain. NMDA receptors serve as mediators of neuronal injury associated with many neurological disorders that include ischemia, brain trauma, neurodegenerative disorders and dementia. Memantine is approved for moderate to severe AD and is being studied for alleviating other causes of cognitive decline like vascular dementia.
Non-pharmacological treatments have been shown to be as effective as pharmacological treatments in many cases. Besides addressing the risk factors of Alzheimer’s Disease and other causes of dementia, cognitive therapy (CT) is an effective form of treatment provided by speech language pathologists.
CT uses theme-based, mentally stimulating activities aimed to improve cognitive function. CT is designed to train specific parts of the brain, build cognitive reserve, and teach compensatory techniques to minimize the impact of cognitive decline on activities of daily living. It often works well in individuals with mild to moderate dementia as well in those with mild cognitive impairment.
The evidence is practical. In a data report by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) assessing outpatient change in functional communication measures (like memory, spoken language, problem solving, and more), almost 72% of participants in cognitive treatment sessions experienced at least one level of improvement.
 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association National Outcomes Measurement Association. (2019). (rep). Adults in Healthcare – Outpatient 2019 (p. 36).
MONITORING AND SURVEILLANCE
Monitoring and surveillance through cognitive assessments is a great way to track progression for diseases like Alzheimer’s. If one is concerned about changes in memory or experiences problems with thinking, it is always a great idea to consult a specialist like the brain health experts at Isaac Health.
Research has shown that almost half of dementia cases are potentially preventable by addressing known risk factors. These include both general health factors, environmental factors, medication, and mental activity. At MyIsaacHealth.com we will guide you to identify the risk factors most relevant to you and help you address them. We will also help you boost cognitive function through memory training and coaching. In isolated cases, certain medications may be indicated to control risk factors or boost cognitive function.
While there is a pipeline of potential medications to slow disease progression, there is currently limited medical treatment available. However, there are a few classes of drugs available to slow cognitive decline. See our section on treatment for details. In addition, cognitive interventions, such as cognitive stimulation therapy, has been shown in many cases to be as effective as medications in slowing cognitive decline, building cognitive reserve, and developing compensatory techniques to support living with cognitive decline. Finally, addressing risk factors and maintaining a high level of social and brain activity are the great ways to protect yourself.
Our care team consists of Neurologists, other brain health doctors, psychologists, speech-language therapists, memory coaches and care coordinators.
While in many cases a family physician or neurologist may have sent you our way, you are welcome to sign up without a referral
If your have health insurance, most of our services will be covered under the terms and conditions of your policy. For prices without health insurance, please see our packages.
Our prevention program is available everywhere. We offer all services in New York, North Carolina, and Florida. Individual services are available also in other States – please feel free to call us for advice.
We chose the name “Isaac Health” because it reminds us of three things: one of the most influential brains in human history (Sir Isaac Newton), the longest-lived Biblical figure (Isaac, who lived to 180 years old), and that he name “Isaac” literally means “one who laughs or rejoices”. Our name represents what we ultimately hope to achieve for the people we serve through our mission to promote and preserve brain health: a long, fulfilling life with many moments of genius and joy.
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