Treatment with the herbal supplement ginkgo biloba to improve mental functioning is considered experimental.
Other therapies, like light therapy, aromatherapy, and exercise, may help reduce behaviors such as agitation but should only be done with supervision.
Other Choices :
* Ginkgo biloba. Many people take ginkgo biloba to improve or preserve memory. But studies have not shown that ginkgo biloba helps improve memory or prevent dementia.15 Ginkgo biloba is widely used in Europe to treat age-related dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
* Aromatherapy. One small study indicates that this therapy, when used as a lotion containing essential balm oil, may be safe and effective for reducing significant agitation in people with severe dementia.16 But more research is needed to prove its effectiveness.
* Light therapy. This treatment is often used to relieve depression. It may help reduce depression, agitation, and sleeplessness associated with Alzheimer's disease. The person is exposed to either natural light or artificial light for several hours every morning or at night to reduce depression.
* Exercise. Gentle exercise, such as walking or swimming, can also relieve symptoms of depression associated with Alzheimer's disease. Exercise is most effective when it is combined with teaching caregivers how to work through behavioral problems with the person who has Alzheimer's disease.
Another way a caregiver can try to reduce agitation is to play soothing music for the person who has Alzheimer's disease, during meals and when the caregiver is helping with bathing.