Alzheimers Home > Alzheimer's Treatment

Currently, there is no treatment for Alzheimer's that can stop or cure the disease. However, medications are available that can help with related symptoms, such as problems with memory or those related to behavior. Medications used in treating this disease include tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine. These medicines only work to prevent some symptoms from becoming worse for a limited period of time.

Treatment for Alzheimer's: An Overview

Alzheimer's disease is a slow disease that starts with mild memory problems and ends with severe brain damage. The course the disease takes and how fast changes occur vary from person to person. On average, patients with Alzheimer's disease live from 8 to 10 years after they are diagnosed, although some people may live with the condition for as long as 20 years.
Currently, there is no Alzheimer's treatment that can stop Alzheimer's disease. However, there are medications available to help with related symptoms.

Alzheimer's Treatment for Mild to Moderate Disease

For some people in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer's disease, there are medications that may prevent some Alzheimer's symptoms from becoming worse for a period of time. These medications include:

Treating Moderate to Severe Disease

Donepezil is also approved to treat severe Alzheimer's disease. Another drug, memantine (Namenda®, Namenda XR®), has also been approved to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, although it also is limited in its effects. Combining memantine with other Alzheimer's medications may be more effective than any single therapy. One controlled clinical trial found that patients receiving donepezil plus memantine had better cognition and other functions than patients receiving donepezil alone.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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