Treatments for Memory Disorders

Currently, there are no cures for Alzheimer's disease or most other kinds of dementia. However, there are many medical illnesses and medications that can either cause memory problems or worsen an existing dementia. For this reason our evaluation is extremely thorough to uncover any such conditions. In the absence of a cure, the goal is to find specific ways to help manage the patients problems and improve the condition of the patient and the family who cares for him or her. Certain medications and therapies are useful for managing the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and more treatments are on the horizon.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Memory & Alzheimer's Center is committed to going beyond the diagnosis by providing ongoing care and support to patients and families through out the course of the illness. We can help manage symptoms and provide relief for patients and families affected by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

A decade ago, very few compounds were being developed specifically for Alzheimer's disease. Within the last several years a family of drugs have become available for the treatment of Alzheimer's. Currently, these drugs include:

  • Exelon (rivastigmine)
  • Aricept (donepezil)
  • Razadyne (galantamine)
  • Namenda (memantine)

The first three drugs work by preventing a normal brain enzyme from breaking down a neurochemical used in making memories, called acetylcholine. Namenda works by protecting the brain from damaging effects of another neurochemical called glutamate.

Today, dozens of drugs that may improve cognitive and behavioral symptoms, slow progression and even prevent the disease are being studied.