Is dementia reversible?

Asked by
Answers 1 to 5 of 5
From what I've read, unfortunately, no.
No, it's not ...
ONE-WAY. We're all in one way or another going down the same road. Dementia is kinda like putting your foot on the gas on a winding one-way road with some nice scenic turnouts.

There are good days and not-so-charming days. There are things to get in some better days. I can say the drug Aricept gave us a lot more good days over a year with my dad. Now keeping up his nutrition, making home adjustments, arranging further support enable a better quality-of-life for both him and us. I can still tell "he is he" if you know what I mean, and he still recognizes us.

Think of it as a disability - needs to be dealt with. Not the end of the world.*

*Although when it's severe, I imagine it's really no fun. My dad is high-moderate with his Alzheimer's. Short-term memory 98% kaput. Long-term working, but slow. Tangental hassles from the AZ- a challenge, but we're hanging in.
I've not heard of it being reversed completely but I do know of two cases where it was improved. If someone has alzheimers disease, then there are drugs that can slow it's progress; it's not reversible. The two cases in which I'm familiar were emphysema patients who were put on oxygen. They showed some dramatic improvement. The cause of their dementia was low blood oxygen, once they were getting concentrated oxygen, their levels went up and their moods and cognition improved too. Their "dementia" was really forgetfulness, inability to understand complex things and really bad nasty moods. They were also really fatigued.

There are other causes of dementia - simple old age, vascular problems ( blood flow) and syndromes of various sorts. The hardest part might be getting your doctor to thoroughly investigate the cause. My dad was one of the emphysema patients and his doctor had to jump up and down to get his insurance to pay for the oxygen. If they are sure it's alzheimers, then they might expect you to accept the diagnosis and decline without trying to slow it's progress. Keep asking questions and educate yourself about alzheimers so you know what to expect.
Best of luck to you and your loved one.
If dementia is accompanied by gait (walking) difficulty and/or urinary incontinence, ask your Neurologist about the possibility of NPH (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus). An MRI and lumbar puncture will help to make the diagnosis. This type of dementia is caused by an excess of Cerebrospinal Fluid on the brain and is often reversible with surgery. Go to (on the internet) and watch video entitled, "NPH, the Untold Story" for an overview.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support