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When you have (or have a family member or a patient under your care has) a long-term medical or behavioral condition, it is important to monitor how the disease symptoms change over time.

Individualized treatment in dementia can consist of attempting to control the illness through medications and behavioral techniques to slow the progress of the disease. While in many cases the condition cannot be eliminated, often it can be slowed. There is no cure for dementia and very few medications have been demonstrated through clinical trials to work. The medications that work usually do so with only small changes in the functioning and quality of life and are only approved for Alzheimer’s Disease, only one of the conditions that are accompanied by dementia symptoms.

For a patient or healthcare professional, an important means of summarizing changes in medical and psychological functioning can be through a comprehensive mind map (or other visual display) summarizing the current status of symptoms of the disease. A huge benefit of documenting change over time is that it can “force” both the person with a disease and healthcare providers to view the condition in a wholistic way.

The visual display can also provide information useful suggestions for individualized behavioral and non-pharmaceutical interventions to help alleviate symptoms.

Click on the mind map to expand it.