Can a Psychiatrist Treat Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimers Massapequa, NY

Did you know that a psychiatrist can treat alzheimer’s? Most people with this disease turn to a medical doctor but seeking help from a mental health physician has many benefits. Whether you or someone you love has been diagnosed with this form of dementia or live with the symptoms of this disease, you want the most appropriate treatment possible. If you want to know if a psychiatrist can treat your Alzheimer’s, here are the details.

What is Alzheimer’s?

The brain cells in patients with Alzheimer’s gradually die. Eventually, people struggle with making decisions and become forgetful. The patients often isolate themselves and show behavioral changes. Once this disease reaches a particular point, functioning independently becomes nearly impossible.

Early signs and symptoms

Initially, someone with Alzheimer’s begins to forget things like where they put the car keys and other actions often associated with the normal aging process. However, as a progressive disease, the level of memory impairment intensifies to where they cannot carry out even the simplest tasks. One of the biggest concerns is that some of the actions are risky. For instance, a patient with this disease might forget to turn off a gas stove or wander away from home only to become lost. For both the individual with Alzheimer’s and family members, the changes are disheartening and frightening, making a visit to a psychiatrist imperative.

Following are some additional symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Confusion and frustration, which is typically worse at night
  • Bouts of depression, anger, and anxiety
  • Disorientation
  • Low inhibitions
  • Delusions
  • Trouble communicating
  • Lack of physical coordination

Types of Alzheimer’s

A key benefit of seeking care from a psychiatrist to treat Alzheimer’s is this individual can determine the exact type of the disease. With in-depth knowledge, this allows the doctor to start the patient on the proper medication along with other recommended treatments. Early-onset Alzheimer’s usually affects people under the age of 65. Although rare, some patients are diagnosed as early as their 40s. People at the greatest risk are those with Down Syndrome.

This type of the disease is different in that there appears to be a connection with DNA: Specifically, chromosome 14. The advantage of seeing a psychiatrist to treat Alzheimer’s is this doctor knows exactly what to look for in making a firm diagnosis specific to the type. There’s also late-onset Alzheimer’s, which is the type that most people think of in relation to this disease. Although there is no known reason for it developing or a cure, a psychiatrist who treats Alzheimer’s can reduce the effects of the symptoms to some degree. Familial Alzheimer’s, often referred to as FAD, is a type with a direct genetic link, meaning it runs in families. The majority of patients diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s also have FAD.

Why it is important to get an early diagnosis

It is important to get an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. It may be difficult for some people to seek help from a psychiatrist when memory problems start. Embarrassment may be a reason not to seek professional help. Another would be the fear of not being capable of caring for oneself. There is still no cure for this disease, but there are advantages to detecting it early:

  • The medications approved by the FDA can be helpful during the early stages of the disease. Early intervention can delay the progression of dementia if the patient is currently experiencing cognitive impairment.
  • It allows the patient to prepare for what might happen in the years to come. This provides relief to the patient.
  • Allows the patient to find the reason for specific symptoms such as difficulty completing tasks, memory loss, trouble sustaining a conversation, and misplacing things.
  • The psychiatrist can work with the doctor to form a treatment plan for the patient’s current medical conditions and Alzheimer’s disease.

Why it is important to have protection, support, and involvement

Alzheimer’s disease has many effects. It can debilitate the individual physically, emotionally, and mentally. The home will need some alterations to ensure that the patient has protection from possible harm. Embarrassment can be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s disease. A good support system can be good for the patient as well.

Proper diagnosis and treatment

While no treatment can cure this progressive disease, some certainly help. Psychiatrists have specific qualifications to treat Alzheimer’s. Not only do they evaluate patients but also treat both behavioral problems and symptoms. For both diagnosis and treatment, people with or suspected of having Alzheimer’s can visit a psychiatrist. Thanks to advances in medicine, there are viable ways to control the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Request an appointment here: https://www.evolvepsychiatry.com or call Evolve Psychiatry at (631) 773-1096 for an appointment in our Massapequa office.

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