A 47-year-old member asked:
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can dementia be cured?

7 doctor answers
Dr. Kimberly Erway
19 years experience Psychiatry
Unfortunately, no.: Dementia is a progressive disease. Even available treatments only slow progression or tame symptoms. They do not provide a cure.
Answered on Feb 18, 2015
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Dr. Mitchell Butin
38 years experience Psychiatry
Most people think of dementia as loss of cognitive function (memory, calculation, loss of words, etc) However, dementia often causes changes in mood/behavior and psychotic symptoms, such as delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (hearing/seeing things that are not there). But there ARE effective treatments for the anxiety, depression, paranoia, hallucinations even if dementia can't be cured
Feb 18, 2015
Dr. Thomas Heston
28 years experience Family Medicine
There are some types of dementia that possibly can be improved, such as alcoholic dementia or traumatic dementia if caught early enough (http://j.mp/UIqZht) however most dementia is irreversible. Medications can make it better in some cases, but also medication side-effects can make it worse.
Dec 6, 2012
Dr. William Drescher
48 years experience Psychiatry
Maybe: For a true dementia, no. But some medical problem can present with dementia-like symptoms and then these go away when the underlying medical problem is cured. See a physician for an evaluation.
Answered on Oct 21, 2016
Dr. Pedro Hernandez
39 years experience Geriatrics
No, but...: When the dementia is caused by excessive CSF fluid ( hydrocephalia) a surgical shunt may drain the fluid and improve symptoms if there are no advanced damage from it. Treatment for atherosclerosis and prevention of embolism and teeating hypertension may reduce changes of multiinfarct dementia. Medicines used early for alzheimer's may improve or delay worsening of the condition but not cure it.
Answered on Jan 23, 2015
Dr. Robert Hutchman
23 years experience Neurology
No, BUT Rx available: For dementia: Namenda (decreases excess glutamate, which causes exitotocxcity). Use with Exelon (rivastigmine) or Aricept (increase acetycholine, a key neurotransmitter for memory & orientation/interactivity/executive function. For psychosis: seroquel or clozaril. For excess sleepiness: nuvigil. For mood: Effexor (snri) or Lexapro (ssri) + wellbutrin (ndri). Cane/walker to avoid falls/injury & health decline.
Answered on Jan 23, 2015
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6 thanks
Dr. Thomas Heston
28 years experience Family Medicine
Not really: No good cures, but several treatments can improve it and slow down its progression. Take a look at http://goo.Gl/fce1c for more information.
Answered on Jan 23, 2015
Dr. Thomas Heston
28 years experience Family Medicine
Depends: Depends on the cause; usually not curable but in some cases yes, see: http://goo.Gl/fce1c.
Answered on Jun 30, 2014
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2 thanks
Dr. Alan Steinberg
37 years experience Psychiatry
Depends: There are many causes of dementia, and some of them are reversible, partially or completely; therefore if given the diagnosis of dementia, it is vital to ensure that a full work up has been done to rule out any reversible causes!
Answered on May 28, 2015
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1 comment
Dr. Ruth Seaman
Dr. Ruth Seaman commented
25 years experience Psychiatry
Textbooks say reversible but in all practicality, this is not seen outside of removing inappropriate over-use of benzo's and anti-cholinergics. I have yet to see a case of NPH or B12-def with dementia return to baseline with treatment. Improved but not cured.
May 28, 2015

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