If you have been diagnosed with young onset dementia, depending on what type you have you may be prescribed treatments that can help with some of the symptoms. You may also benefit from different types of therapy that helps people to communicate and feel better about their diagnosis
Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine
There are treatments available on prescription that can help relieve some symptoms of young onset Alzheimer’s and dementia with Lewy bodies. These include the following drugs, known as cholinesterase inhibitors:
These drugs are licensed and recommended for people with mild to moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Another drug called memantine may be given to people with these conditions who have moderate to severe symptoms, and to those with moderate symptoms when cholinesterase inhibitors don’t help or are not suitable.
People with moderate or severe Alzheimer’s disease or dementia with Lewy bodies are sometimes offered combination therapy, where a cholinesterase inhibitor is given in addition to memantine. These treatments don’t slow down the underlying disease, but they can help with some of the symptoms.
Other types of young onset dementia
Unfortunately, there are no medications available to treat frontotemporal dementia currently, so the focus is on helping people with the disease manage their symptoms in everyday life. Find out more here.
There are currently no specific treatments for vascular dementia. However, a doctor may prescribe or monitor medicines taken to treat the underlying conditions that can damage blood vessels and contribute to vascular dementia. Find out more here.
There are several types of cognitive therapy that may benefit people with young onset dementia.
For example, cognitive stimulation activities are designed to stimulate thinking skills and engage people who have dementia, with an emphasis on enjoyment and group activities. The benefits of cognitive stimulation for people with dementia can include improvement in mood, thinking skills and quality of life.
Treatments for dementia
Read more about treatments for dementia, including information on treating depression, anxiety and agitation and for information on antipsychotics.
Young onset dementia
This leaflet aims to give an introduction to young onset dementia. It’s for anyone who might be worried about themselves or somebody else.
Order health information
Alzheimer’s Research UK has a wide range of information about dementia. Order booklets or download them from our online form.
This information was updated in March 2022 and is due to be reviewed in March 2024, it was written by Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Information Services team with input from the Young Dementia Network and lay and expert reviewers. Please get in touch if you’d like a version with references or in a different format.
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Dementia Research Infoline
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