General Article Complementary and alternative therapies and dementia

Topic Selected: Alternative Medicine
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There are high levels of public interest in the various complementary and alternative therapies available today. Many people with dementia, and those who care for them, are interested in using these therapies as alternatives or additions to their conventional treatments, often due to the perceived benefits that they may bring and the image of being ‘safe’ and ‘natural’. This article explains what complementary and alternative therapies are, outlines several therapies for which there is some evidence of their effectiveness and describes how to access these treatments.

This article only addresses therapies that have an evidence base and does not cover treatments for which there is no clinical evidence of effectiveness in dementia, even if they are widely used (such as homeopathy).


What are complementary and alternative therapies?

The term ‘complementary and alternative therapy’ covers many diverse forms of treatment.

Complementary and alternative therapies are a broad range of ...

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