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Dementia Symptoms and Treatment Options - Step 5

Treatment Options

Potential treatment options are listed below in order from most effective to least effective, as determined by TeddyCanHeal's advanced software. Not every treatment will work for everyone, so talk to your doctor to determine what will be best for your individual needs. Many treatments may also be used in combination with one another or with medication.

9: Red Wine

Red Wine

General Information:

Red wine has been shown to have numerous health benefits over the years, including neurological benefits for people with dementia. It contains compounds known as flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant properties. As mentioned in previous sections, antioxidants help fight damage called oxidative stress, which is thought to play a part in the aging of the brain and the development of age-related neurological issues. Because of this, red wine has gained interest as a potential treatment for dementia.

Additionally, red wine has been found to lower levels of bad cholesterol and raise levels of good cholesterol, which can help prevent against strokes.

Of course, it is important to remember that red wine is alcohol, and should be taken in moderation. It should also be noted that these properties are specific to red wine (the flavonoids come from the red grapes) and thus do not apply to all varieties of alcohol. If you want to avoid taking the wine route, the same variety of antioxidants can also be found in tea.

Scientific Studies:

Most research into red wines beneficial effects has focused on its ability to reduce the risk of developing dementia. In 2000, a study consisting of more than 1,300 subjects and with a 5-year follow-up period found that increased intake of flavonoids lowered the risk of developing dementia later on. A similar study from 2002 investigated multiple types of alcohol and found that Monthly and weekly intake of wine is associated with a lower risk of dementia. Two years later, yet another study was published, this time focusing specifically on Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. Like the others, they found that regular consumption of wine was correlated with a lower incidence of Alzheimer's in the elderly, though they did note that there seemed to be a genetic component as well.

Red wine may be useful for more than just preventing dementia, too. A 2012 paper suggested that it could also be an effective treatment for those who already have the disease, citing previous works that have demonstrated its antioxidant properties and its ability to directly fight the buildup of harmful substances in the brain that contribute to neurological problems. The authors of the paper also note that other grape products and foods containing polyphenols (such as cocoa, tea, and berries) may convey similar benefits.

10: Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1

General Information:

Vitamin B1, also known as the amino acid thiamine, was the very first vitamin to ever be discovered. It is important for various metabolic reactions, and is also widely believed to offer cognitive benefits for those with dementia. Indeed, B1s connection to dementia goes all the way back to the 1930s, when the rare form of dementia known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome was first linked to thiamine deficiency.

Despite this relatively early connection, a lot remains unknown about the role that B1 plays in other varieties of dementia. Like the other B vitamins on this list, it has antioxidant properties, which could offer neuroprotective effects. There is also evidence that points towards thiamine deficiencies increasing the risk of and even playing a role in the development of Alzheimer's. This is described in further detail in the section below.

Thiamine can be a bit tricky as a treatment because taking it directly only results in a slight increase of vitamin B1 concentrations in the body. However, there are other compounds that have been designed to give a bigger boost to thiamine levels and make the effects persist for longer. This might be especially beneficial for those with a known thiamine deficiency. Your doctor will be able to tell you which is the best option for you.

Scientific Studies:

A 1993 study looked at the impact of thiamine supplementation on people with Alzheimer's and found that small doses (3-8 grams) taken daily had a mild but beneficial effect for Alzheimer's patients. Two years later, another study investigated whether people with Alzheimer's-type dementia differed from healthy people in terms of the concentration of thiamine within their bodies. They reported that on average, patients with Alzheimer's had significantly lower levels of thiamine than those without the disease, and concluded that many people with Alzheimer's may also have a thiamine deficiency. They also noted that this deficiency may be at least partially responsible for the neurological problems associated with the disease.

In 2005, researchers gave Alzheimer's patients a 100mg dose of a thiamine derivative every day. After 12 weeks, they noted a mild beneficial effect, with mental and emotional improvements for those taking the supplements. No adverse reactions were observed. Like other vitamins on this list, results of studies using thiamine as a treatment for dementia have varied, so it may not work for everyone.

Dementia Symptoms and Treatment Options

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