How is dementia treated?

Information about some of the drug treatments currently used in the treatment of dementia.

Drug treatments and dementia

This page discusses broadly some of the drug treatments currently being used in the treatment of dementia.

This includes new drugs which may have a temporary effect in improving mental functioning and drugs used to treat accompanying symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

It also suggests questions that people with dementia, their families and carers should ask their doctor before being prescribed any of these drugs. 

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Drugs used to relieve behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia

People with dementia may at some point in their illness develop symptoms such as depression, anxiety, agitation, sleep disturbance, aggressive behaviour and psychosis (delusions and hallucinations).

While it is important to try to understand and address the underlying reasons for these problems, it may be necessary at times to prescribe medication if the symptoms are distressing, persistent and have not responded to psychological treatments.

This page describes the different types of drugs that may be prescribed.

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Use of other therapeutic treatments

In addition to the various drugs approved for use in treating Alzheimer’s disease, there is considerable interest in the use of other treatment therapies.

This page provides a brief summary of information about some of these.

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