Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is based on:
- Medical and family history, which includes a history of cognitive and behavioral issues and changes
- Physical and neurological tests that measure changes over time in memory, language skills, problem-solving skills, and other cognitive functions
- Input from family and friends about changes in daily functions and behavior
- Other tests, such as brain imaging scans, to rule out other possible causes of symptoms (such as stroke or a brain tumor)
There are a few medications that may temporarily help people with Alzheimer's maintain cognitive function and manage symptoms. These include:
- Aricept (donepezil)
- Exelon (rivastigmine)
- Razadyne (galantamine)
- Namenda (memantine)
- Namzaric (donepezil and memantine)
The effectiveness of these medications varies between people, but they aren't able to completely stop the malfunction and eventual death of neurons, according to a 2014 Alzheimer's & Dementia report.
Other therapies, including other medications, may also help treat common behavioral and psychiatric problems associated with Alzheimer's, such as depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, wandering, or agitation.
In addition, some research suggests that cognitive training, cognitive simulation, and training in daily life activities may help some people with Alzheimer's maintain cognitive functions.