Dementia is a brain disorder characterized by loss of cognitive functioning such as remembering, reasoning, and thinking. In some cases, it’s accompanied by problems with behavioral abilities that can interfere with one’s daily activities.

Usually, a person with dementia have problems with language skills, memory, problem-solving, self-management, memory, and the ability to concentrate. Due to the complications associated with dementia, patients are usually enrolled in memory care in a retirement community here in Ogden.

There are many types of dementia. These include frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, vascular dementia, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Sadly, there is still no treatment for dementia. But, there are promising new alternative therapies that are being studied by experts.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is an ancient practice that uses essential oils from herbs, flowers, plants, and trees. These oils have promising health benefits that can improve a person’s spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.

Many studies support the efficacy of aromatherapy on dementia.

For instance, in Japan, scientists found that the active compounds in Drynaria Rhizome, commonly known as basket ferns, can boost memory. The plant showed promise in improving Alzheimer’s disease in mice models.

Furthermore, rosemary, a common essential oil plant, has shown the ability to improve cognitive performance among healthy adults. Hence, it can help prevent the development of dementia. For patients who are diagnosed with dementia, the essential oils from lemon balm, lavender and bergamot can help suppress agitation, aggression and other psychotic symptoms.

Stem Cell Therapy

Today, stem cell therapy is a popular treatment for various conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Since there is brain cell damage in dementia, stem cell treatments target to replace these damaged cells. Hence, new healthy brain cells are formed.

The good thing about stem cell therapy is, the cells used are from the patient’s own body. This reduces the risk of rejection and hypersensitivity reactions.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has many health benefits. Among patients with dementia, caprylic acid, which is one of coconut oil’s active ingredients,  can help slow down cognitive decline and boost memory performance.

Certain Medicines

packings of pills and capsules

Some medicines that are intended to treat diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels have shown promise in treating dementia. A certain diabetes drug, called Victoza, can be used to stimulate the production of insulin.

Some studies have shown that the drug can help prevent the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. Biologics, which are drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, can reduce inflammation caused by the formation of beta-amyloid plaques or deposits.

Meanwhile, high blood pressure drugs or anti-hypertensives can help decrease the risk of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 50%. Lastly, medications used to control blood cholesterol levels called statins can help prevent dementia.

Dementia is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease. It affects not only the memory of the patient but also many other functions of the brain. Up to today, there is still no cure for dementia, but what doctors do is to help prevent its rapid progression.

These alternative treatments might help patients. Though these have not been approved as dementia treatments, they can provide sufficient proof and data of how these can help prevent dementia from progressing further.