Nerve growth factor, antioxidant therapy, and other drugs are being investigated for the management of dementia. Psychotrophic medications such as carbamazepine, desipramine, haloperidol, lorazepam, and thioridazine are used to control symptoms of agitation, anxiety, confusion, delusions, depression, and hallucinations in patients with dementia. Unfortunately, some of the medications used to improve patients' quality of life may not work, may worsen memory deficits, or cause neurological effects such as irreversible tremors (tardive diskinesia).
It is important to reduce cerebrovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, hyperlipidemia, and coronary artery disease in patients with vascular dementia. Dementia resulting from neurologic conditions (Parkinson's disease, normal-pressure hydrocephalus, brain lesions, carotid artery disease) requires a neurological workup. Dementia related to a hereditary condition requires referral for genetic counseling.
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