Shelves of supplements

Can I buy supplements to prevent or treat dementia?

We examine the truth behind the sale of supplements, vitamins, products and therapies that claim to prevent or treat dementia, or boost memory.

It is common to see advertisements online claiming to be a ‘miracle cure’ for dementia.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether to trust these claims.

Unfortunately, any supplement or treatment available to purchase that claims to prevent, slow down or reverse dementia is extremely likely to be bogus.

I have dementia - what does this mean for me?

Our helpline advisers are here for you.

The good news is there is support out there.

Alzheimer's Society is here for everyone affected by dementia. We provide accurate, evidence-based advice and information.

While there is currently no cure, there are drugs and non-drug treatments that can lessen a person’s symptoms of dementia.

Buyer beware

Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be a difficult time for the individual and their families.

Dementia can make individuals more susceptible to aggressive marketing messages.

It’s unacceptable for companies to exploit people who are in this vulnerable position, valuing profits over well-being.

We are concerned that people looking for information are not receiving the support or treatments they need following a diagnosis. Unsurprisingly, this leads to people looking online for alternatives. 

I’m worried about developing dementia – what can I do?

The causes of dementia are complex. There are some factors we can’t change, such as our genes. There are some things we can do to reduce the chances of developing the condition.

In general, what is good for the heart is good for the brain.

It’s important to make sure that any long-term health problems are managed as well as possible. These could include diabetes, high blood pressure or mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety.

If you have any of these, or think you may be at risk of developing them, it’s really important to check in with your GP and take any medications they prescribe.

You can also try to make your brain healthier through positive lifestyle changes.

I'm considering taking a dementia supplement

If you are considering purchasing and taking a supplement that claims to prevent or treat dementia or memory issues, ensure you discuss this with your doctor before doing so.

Dr Fiona Carragher, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer's Society, explains the importance of trusted sources.

'We are aware of companies marketing supplements online with misleading evidence that they can prevent or even treat dementia.

'The "evidence" is often anecdotal and, in the majority of cases, there is little or no data to back up the claims.'

'We know there is a lot of fear and uncertainty surrounding dementia, and anyone looking to reduce their risk deserves to receive accurate information.

'Research, including our own, has revealed a number of lifestyle changes that can help prevent dementia.

'It’s frustrating that people are being taken away from our evidence-based robust advice and guidance and being pointed instead to misleading claims for financial gain.'

Alternative therapies for dementia

There is so much information available online about alternative therapies for dementia. Some of it is true, but some stretches the truth.

Alzheimer's Society ensures all the information we provide is always backed-up by evidence and will ensure you have all the facts to make an informed decision. 

Cannabis and coconut oil

Learn more about two popular alternative therapies for dementia symptoms

Cannabis and CBD oil Coconut oil
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18 comments

Add your own

My specialist took many tests and confirmed I am in early stage dementia. DMV is requiring me to take a driver test and I just renewed for 4 years! Dr says no cure. I’m 76 years old.

Take test. It's about safty I drove for 2yrs after diagnosis then family started being concerned. My driving was perfect the instructor said my concentration was awful ie making me unsafe.
Result gave licence back to DVLA I miss car but I will not hurt anyone by driving . my age 62

I am prity shore a
I am. in the early stages of vascular dementia and I would like more information onit

Hi Alan,
I'm sorry to hear you're concerned about symptoms of dementia.
Firstly, we'd recommend visiting your GP and explaining what you're experiencing if you haven't done so already. We have some information here on why getting a formal diagnosis can be a really important step: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/why…
We also have lots of information on vascular dementia on our website and advice for anyone who is worried about their memory.
For vascular dementia, you can read or order a copy of our factsheet here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/types-dementia/vascular-de…
Most of our information for people worried about their memory is collected here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/wor…
Finally, if you feel like you'd rather speak to somebody, you can always call our helpline for information, advice and support. You can find details of the helpline here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/national-dementia-helpline
I hope this helpful, if you have any other questions please do get back in touch.
--
Alzheimer's Society blog team

My Husband has Mixed Dementia
/Alzheimer’s All has been ok up to a couple of weeks ago when he forgot where he is He thinks we are away on holiday but wher we are is exactly the same as at home
He doesn’t know me at times( his wife of over 30 years) Then he remembers and thinks I left him and have come back to him
I don’t know how to answer him when he asks me questions like “are we together now?
Were you married to ????
You have a younger sister ???
No
and so many random wuestions

Hi Linda,
Really sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis.
Problems around memory and communication are common and it can be difficult to know how to answer these kinds of questions.
We have some information on our website around communication which you may find useful. This page in particular might be a good place to start: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/sym…
Some people also find it useful talking to other people in similar situations. Our online community Talking Point is a forum which you can connect with other people affected by dementia and ask questions: https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/
You can also call our helpline on 0300 222 11 22 for information, advice or emotional support. The helpline's opening hours and full contact details can be found here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/national-dementia-helpline
Hope this is helpful.
--
Alzheimer's Society blog team

Is there any medication that will stop or reverse this disease. There is a product called ambrotosre that works on cell communication i have tried it for my husband but cant confirm that it really helps is there any awareness out there about this product its a powder. Sold by a company called manatec.

Hi Martie, thanks for getting in touch. At this stage there is no published research looking at the benefits of ambrotose and it has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They include a caveat on their website which says: ‘These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease’. Without thorough, in depth research it’s impossible to know whether there might be benefits or risk of taking this supplement. If you’re considering using this supplement please do discuss it with your doctor.
--
Alzheimer's Society research team

My husband was prescribed menamtina about 18 months ago,so far there has been no obvious deterioration in his mental state

Hi Valerie, it’s great to hear that Memantine has been helpful for your husband. It is prescribed commonly to people with Alzheimer’s disease to manage some of its symptoms.
You can read more here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/treatments/drugs/drug-trea…
Thanks,
--
Alzheimer's Society research team

Ones again I've read your blogs . How many people out there who are and had bad experiences with there GPs Hospital Memory clinic . And organisations like your self . I see you don't put that up in your blogs .
I would also like to remind you all about the word stigma .
You put your statement the organisation who going to try and informed the general public about this some top names . Not seen anything.
Back to my wife 4 years in May she was diagnosed we were told she had vascular dementia . We when to the hospital in January only to be told now she got front temporal lobe just by asking questions? We now going to see specialist out side of our area . Has you can see not happy please do not respond by saying sorry or put me in touch with local society they been help ether. I want positive and constructive answer .

Hi Stephen, thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear if you've had a bad experience.
We're just gathering some information from the relevant teams and will get back to you shortly with a response.
--
Alzheimer's Society blog team

Hello Stephen,

Thanks for your feedback about the content of our blogs. We use this platform to share personal stories from people affected by dementia, which we hope will provide comfort to others in similar situations. We also aim to provide practical information, advice and answers to questions from our readers. We're sorry to hear that your experiences are not being represented here - we understand that everyone experiences dementia differently, and want to cover as many of these perspectives as possible. If sharing your story is something you're interested in doing, we'd encourage you to get in touch: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/blog/share-your-dementia-story-our-blog. In turn this may encourage other people who have similar experiences share their stories also.

We really are sorry to hear about your wife; unfortunately we can’t second guess exactly what caused the doctors to diagnose vascular dementia and then amend the diagnosis to frontal-temporal dementia. We can appreciate how upsetting it must have been to be given a different diagnosis in January from the one four years ago, however we would say that dementia can be difficult to accurately diagnose.

Diagnosis is done on the basis of assessing the persons memory and cognitive skills through asking specific questions designed to test different types of abilities, and by observing behaviours. Doctors also use blood and urine tests, ruling out other possible causes of the symptoms, and will often order a brain scan. Brain scans can show how the brain is being affected, which can lead to a clinical diagnosis of type of dementia. They can be inconclusive however, especially in the earlier stages. Some people may have symptoms that fit more closely with one form of dementia rather than another. Some people will have ‘mixed dementia’ which means that they have more than one kind of dementia.

It’s good that you’re going to see a specialist, so that you can ask for more clarity about your wife’s condition and access any appropriate treatment for her.

You might find it helpful to read our factsheet on Assessment and Diagnosis https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/dia….
We also have factsheets on vascular dementia and fronto-temporal dementia which talk in more detail about those types of dementia. You can see a full list of our factsheets here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/dia…

Our Dementia Helpline can provide information, advice and emotional support, and we would be happy to talk to you in more detail about your situation if you would like to call the Helpline on 0300 222 1122.

If there is anything else we can do please do not hesitate in contacting us.

Best Wishes

First, regrding driving problems-better to be safe than sorry. If you are alone, try to obtain assistance from a trusted friend or neighbourto order on-line deliveries, get lifts with associates etc. and develope strategies with the help of professionals. As husband and carer for my wife I found that for a few years she could drive perfectly and safely but eventually with increasing confusion I had to say "It's Ok dear, I've got some shopping to do so I'll drive you where you want to go and then pick you up afterwards." Problem solved (but licence surrendered!). I'd like to reply to Linda,too,but insufficient space.

Dear Linda. Iwas carer and husband for 58 years despite disabilities of my own.My wife wanted to go home (we have lived here 26 years) didn't know where "home"was but would still pack.Couldn't reason but problem solved (each day!) by saying "It's a bit late now dear, we'll go tomorrow." Didn't recognise me but would want me."Oh,he's just popped down the road and will be back soon." Problem solved! Same with long dead mother and father. "Oh,they've gone out with friends." Anxiety dismissed. Just go along with their "reality" and don't try reasoning-it only leads to more anxiety and confusion.Give them the answer they will accept. Sadly, Piera passed away last year leaving me with profound depression with which I am battling, but please look after yourself and accept any help that is offered.Best wishes.

I’ve suspected my mother has dementia for the last few years. Doctor confirmed it to me a few weeks ago. Mum will not go for a memory test. I’ve tried twice. I think she knows her memory is bad and is frightened. She lives alone. She gets quite confused and short term memory is poor. She doesn’t eat too well. She is very down. I just do not know what to do or how to help her and doctor won’t do anything without the memory test. I’m going round in circles. Help!

Hi Annelisa, I'm sorry to hear about your concerns for your mother. If you call our helpline one of our advisers would be glad to discuss it with you and offer advice.

Our Helpline is open Monday to Wednesday (9am-8pm), Thursday to Friday (9am–5pm) and Saturday to Sunday (10am-4pm), and can be reached on 0300 222 11 22.

Thanks

I noticed my Mum was having memory problems in her late 80s, I kept taking her to her doctor and she just had 'Memory Problems' put on her notes. This happened for 3 years and finally she had an MRI when she was 91 which confirmed vascular dementia small vein disease. We have had no help, no information, no dietary advice, no meeting, no memory clinic, nothing, just the diagnosis. Mum is hypothyroid and has been in hospital for 6 weeks with a UTI. Her Liothyronine T3 was stopped as soon as she entered the hospital, the levothyroxine was continued. The endocrinology consultant stopped it. I kept on at the doctors to reinstate the T3 as I know what happens if a dose isn't given to Mum. Last Monday suddenly my Mum greeted me, her speech wasn't slurred, there was a light in her eyes, it was my Mum again. I asked the nurse what had happened and she told me that the T3 had been reinstated that morning. Everyone noticed the difference, it was so dramatic. How can T3 be stopped in hospital when it has an adverse effect on brain fog, memory and mood! Something should be done about this, my Mum suffered, got depressed, wouldn't eat and now I have my Mum back. Nothing else changed to give this dramatic effect.

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