Source: alzinfo.org, reviewed by William J. Netzer, Ph.D., July 5th 2004, from the July/August issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
“July 5, 2004 (Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation) â€” Men and women with early Alzheimer’s disease may learn new skills from mental training exercises, a new study reports. The benefits may help them to recall important information and better go about their daily tasks, improvements that may ease the burden somewhat for caregivers, at least in the short-term . ‘By combining specific cognitive rehabilitation strategies, we can help people with Alzheimer’s disease remain engaged in daily activities,’ says study author David A. Lowenstein, Ph.D., of the University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida. These improvements, he adds, may allow people with Alzheimer’s to ‘retain a connection to their family and friends and the world as a whole for a longer period of time’. On average, those who practiced the “cognitive rehabilitation” exercises showed a 170 percent improvement in their ability to recall names and faces compared with those who received the mental stimulation exercises. They also had a 71 percent improvement in their ability to provide proper change after a purchase. In addition, they responded better to their surroundings, were better oriented in terms of time and place, and could process information more rapidly.