As a leading dementia care home in London, our specialist team receives continual training on how to treat someone with dementia. This ensures that we are in line with current thinking and best practice.
Although a new dementia drug breakthrough is on the horizon, there is currently no cure for dementia. In the absence of a cure, we offer individual care plans that can help to ease the symptoms of dementia – read on, to find out more…
What is the best treatment for dementia, from a medical perspective?
Current dementia medications aim to reduce symptoms and slow the progression of the condition. These are prescribed on an individual basis, according to the patient’s needs.
The following medicines can help with dementia symptoms:
These medications stop an enzyme from breaking down a substance called acetylcholine in the brain. This helps boost the exchange of messages in the nerve cells. The chemical messengers are involved in memory and judgement.
There’s evidence that these medicines can be used to treat a broad range of dementia diagnoses.
Memantine works by blocking the effects of an excessive amount of a chemical in the brain called glutamate. This helps the chemical messenger involved in brain functions, such as learning and memory.
Other medicines are used to treat physical conditions related to dementia. These might include heart problems, in the case of vascular dementia. Also in this group are stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, and chronic kidney disease.
Dementia may also involve challenging behaviour or moods, such as extreme agitation or distress, anxiety or aggression. A doctor may prescribe medications to address issues such as sleep disturbances, hallucinations, depression or agitation.
The future: a new Alzheimer’s treatment
In 2021, a new Alzheimer’s drug was approved in America by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). This groundbreaking medication has been formulated to treat mild cognitive impairment in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Many specialist researchers believe that Alzheimer’s is caused by plaques forming in the brain which then damage cells.
The new Alzheimer’s treatment is an engineered antibody called aducanumab. This drug binds to the amyloid protein molecule that forms plaques. The body’s immune system will then detect the combination as a foreign body and remove the unwanted plaque. The hope is that the brain cells won’t be damaged, once the plaque is removed. This should mean that thinking, memory, function, and behaviour will be conserved.
At the time of the FDA’s approval, David Thomas, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, commented:
“Today marks an important turning point for people with Alzheimer’s disease in the US who now have the potential to be prescribed the first ever drug treatment to target the underlying disease itself. The FDA ruling could pave the way for a new generation of drug treatments, but aducanumab still has hurdles to overcome before it could be made available to people in the UK.’
New dementia drug breakthrough in the UK
In April 2022, researchers at the Neuro-Bio facility, linked to Oxford University, indicated a potential advance in dementia treatment.
Scientists have identified a ‘neurotoxic’ chemical which triggers the early stages of dementia and have developed a treatment that can neutralise it. The new dementia drug breakthrough treatment is still in the early stages of testing but we look forward to understanding more about how this works.
How to treat someone with dementia – a care approach
While medication can address the symptoms of dementia, this is only one part of dementia care. Here at Willow Grange, we offer a range of activities and support to our residents who are living with dementia, including:
Cognitive and social stimulation – this involves taking part in group activities and exercises designed to improve memory and language.
Mood boosting activities – our residents enjoy pet therapy, knitting and crocheting, singing, food-based activities and more.
Reminiscing and listening to life stories – we talk about moments and events from our residents’ past, while looking at photos and mementos or listening to songs.
Physical activities – where appropriate, we offer gentle exercise such as yoga, stretching and resistance training.
Our experienced care teams take a compassionate approach that improves the mood and wellbeing of our residents, despite them living with the challenges of dementia.
Why choose Willow Grange for dementia care?
Choosing a dementia care home might seem like a daunting task. At Willow Grange you can be assured that:
Our care teams strive to support residents in maintaining their independence and individuality
We’ve created a warm and friendly atmosphere and a nurturing environment
Our specialist nurses get to know all residents, to provide tailored care to meet their needs
We truly believe that dementia care – when done right – can help to reduce the symptoms of dementia.
Willow Grange – specialist dementia care home, London
If you have any questions about Willow Grange or how to treat someone with dementia, please get in touch with our team on 020 8399 8948. We will be happy to talk through our specialist services or arrange for you to visit our Surbiton care home.