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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 2549
Experience:  Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
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I have early dementia. What is the best thing I can do to

Customer Question

I have early dementia. What is the best thing I can do to treat it?
JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking?
Customer: Last September I was put on Donepezil (5 mg), A month later I was put on Memamtine by another doctor.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: I can't think of anything in particular except the fact that I have Rheumatoid arthritis.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 8 months ago.

Hello. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. It sounds like you are already on a couple medications that have proven to be effective in the early stages of dementia. The only other thing you can do really is to take excellent care of yourself, exercise daily (which has also been shown in studies to reduce the progression of dementia) and keep challenging yourself mentally. Although brain training software is touted these days, studies have yet to show any significant neurological benefits for older adults, though it may be worth a try. We recommend sticking mainly to brain training that involves real-world activities. As one expert says, "Drive home via a different route; brush your teeth with your opposite hand. The brain works through associations, which is why it's easier to memorize lyrics to a song than it is to try and remember the same words without music], so the more senses you involve the better."

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 8 months ago.

Other activities that involve exercise for the brain, and have also been associated with reduced dementia risk as part of a mentally active lifestyle, are:

• Reading

• Listening to the radio

• Visiting museums

• Taking a course

• Learning a new language

• Playing musical instruments

• Artistic and other hobbies

• Participation in leisure activities such as sports, hobbies, dancing, gardening, groups, cultural activities and conversation

• Board games

• Crosswords

• Sudoku and other puzzles Many of these activities involve social interaction and physical activity as well.

Recent research suggests that combining mental, social and physical components in leisure activities offers the greatest benefits in terms of reducing dementia progression.