What Are the Treatments for Cerebral Atrophy?


Among the many diseases that can affect the brain, cerebral atrophy is unfortunately a common thread between them all. Cerebral atrophy is a term that encompasses any loss of cells in the brain, no matter the cause. Cerebral atrophy can focus on one specific area of the brain, resulting in decreased function in that particular area, or it can occur generally across the brain, meaning all of the brain shows signs of brain cell loss. While there is no specific treatment for cerebral atrophy, there are treatment options for the conditions that can cause it.

Treating Dementia

Progressive loss of memory and/or intellectual function that's severe enough to negatively affect day-to-day activities involving both social and work skills is the definition of dementia. Many times, this memory loss isn't reparable, but doctors can keep the dementia from worsening with certain medications. Cholinesterase inhibitors like Aricept, Exelon and Razadyne are drugs used to treat Alzheimer's disease. They boost the levels of a chemical messenger that researchers believe is involved in memory and judgment. Memantine, also known as Namenda, is another Alzheimer's drug that regulates the activity of glutamate, which is another chemical messenger that involves learning and memory as part of your brain function. Your doctor may even try a combination of cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for best results.

Treating Seizures

Seizures, because of their very nature, can cause cerebral atrophy in patients. Whether the seizure shows up as disorientation, loss of consciousness, repetitive movements or convulsions, brain function is affected during the duration of a seizure and brain cell loss is inevitable. However, doctors have effective treatment options for controlling seizures. Your doctor might prescribe anti-seizure medication to stop the seizures. If you're a patient, you must continue taking this medication on a regular basis, and inform your doctor of any other medications you might take, because certain medications can reduce the effectiveness of your anti-seizure medication. A neurologist may also look for the cause of your seizure. Surgical options are available, and highly effective, if the cause of your seizures is treatable.

Treating Aphasia

Disorders characterized by difficulty in understanding language and disturbances in speaking are aphasias, another likely symptom of cerebral atrophy. Symptoms of aphasia includes the use of incomplete sentences, odd choices of words, disjointed clauses and the use of partial phrases. As soon as you notice these symptoms, you should begin speech therapy as soon as possible for best treatment results. Some patients recover fully without treatment. However, a speech-language pathologist can help you relearn to read, write, follow directions and repeat phrases to treat aphasia.

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