Who Treats Alzheimer's Disease?

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS

Managing and treating Alzheimer’s disease can be complex and often requires a team of healthcare professionals. Your primary care doctor can help coordinate your care and refer you to other healthcare providers. Some of these providers might include the following:


Geriatricians are doctors who have special training in how the body changes with age. Most geriatricians are either internists by training or family practitioners. They can help when there are many health problems to address. 

Geriatric Psychiatrists 

Geriatric psychiatrists specialize in the mental and emotional problems of older adults. They can create a care plan that addresses and considers:

  • Any medical, emotional and behavioral issues including agitation
  • Social concerns
  • Your home environment


Neurologists specialize in diseases of the brain and nervous system. They diagnose, treat and manage common neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.


Psychiatrists have special training in disorders that affect mood and how your mind works. They can help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, as well as identify and treat depression, which is common among people with Alzheimer’s disease.


Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists are mental healthcare professionals, not medical doctors. Rather, they have advanced degrees in psychology. Many psychologists are experts in testing memory and other mental functions.

Physical Therapists 

Physical therapists are licensed healthcare providers who provide guidance on how to stay physically active.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists are licensed healthcare providers who evaluate your ability to carry out daily tasks and teach you ways to function better.


Some dentists have experience caring for people with dementia. It may be helpful to find one in your area who has worked with people with Alzheimer’s disease.

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    1. About Alzheimer’s disease: diagnosis. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/diagnosis
    2. Dementia and the Role of Occupational Therapy. American Occupational Therapy Association. http://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/AboutOT/Professionals/WhatIsOT/MH/Facts/Dementia.ashx
    3. Dental Care. Alzheimer’s Association. http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-dental.asp
    4. How to Become an Occupational Therapist. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm#tab-4
    5. Sadowsky CH, Galvin JE. Guidelines for the management of cognitive and behavioral problems in dementia. JABFM. 2012;25(3):350-366. 
    6. What is Alzheimer’s Disease? American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/alzheimers/what-is-alzheimers-disease
    7. What is a geriatrician? American Geriatrics Society. http://www.americangeriatrics.org/advocacy_public_policy/gwps/gwps_faqs/id:3182
    8. What is Psychiatry? American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-psychiatry
    9. Who Are Physical Therapists? American Physical Therapy Association. http://www.apta.org/aboutPTs/
    10. Working with Your Doctor. American Academy of Neurology. http://patients.aan.com/go/workingwithyourdoctor
    Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
    Last Review Date: 2020 Jul 30
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