There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, nor is there a treatment that will stop the progression. Several drugs on the market and non-pharmacological treatments may help with some symptoms.
Consult your health-care provider
Ask your doctor or a qualified health-care professional the following questions about any treatment or product you are considering, including natural health products:
- What are the potential benefits or results of taking this product?
- Is this the best product or approach to achieve those results or are there better alternatives?
- Is there evidence that supports the safety and effectiveness of this product?
- What are the risks associated with taking this product?
Stay in touch with your health-care provider to discuss any side effects and ensure that you continue to pursue the most effective course of treatment as the disease progresses.
Alternative therapeutic approaches
Some non-pharmacological therapies (such as music therapy, aromatherapy, pet therapy, and massage) may be beneficial to people with dementia. However, a lack of research prevents us from determining the effectiveness of many alternative treatments. The Alzheimer Society is funding projects in these areas in order to identify beneficial therapies for people with the disease.
When considering the use of natural health products, think about the following to minimize your risk:
- Don't assume "natural" means "safe."
- Be wary of unsubstantiated health-related claims.
- Herbal remedies can change the way prescription drugs work. Be aware of interactions with other drugs and tell your doctor and pharmacist about any herbal remedies you may be taking.
More information and resources
- Heads Up for Healthier Living (print-friendly version): Information on lifestyle choices that can improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and may help to slow the progression of the disease.
- Medications for Alzheimer’s disease: are they right for you?: Information on the four medications—Aricept®, Reminyl®, Exelon™ and Ebixa®—approved by Health Canada to treat symptoms of the disease.