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Best dementia treatments 'not necessarily drug-based'

Best dementia treatments 'not necessarily drug-based'
9th October 2008

Medicines are not necessarily the best way to treat dementia, according to a scientific body in Australia.

Recognised treatments such as cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine may have a limited effect and therefore alternative therapies should be considered in some cases, suggests the National Prescribing Service (NPS).

Furthermore, antipsychotics not only have a "very limited role" in being able to treat some of the behaviours associated with dementia, the body said, but they also carry an increased risk of adverse cerebrovascular events.

Judith Mackson, education and quality assurance programme manager at the NPS, suggested that all older people using medicines, not just those with Alzheimer's disease, should be subject to a planned and regular review to assess the effects of the treatment.

She continued: "We know that non-pharmacological strategies can help promote and maintain independence, cognitive function and manage the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia."

A national newspaper journalist recently heaped praise on a Barchester care home for the high standards of care it gives to residents living with dementia.

Writing for the Daily Mail, Bel Mooney said the "dignity of every single resident" is nurtured by staff at St Thomas' care home in Basingstoke.

Please click here to find a care home for elderly care.