Cognitive Interventions in Mild Alzheimer's Disease: A Therapy-Evaluation Study on the Interaction of Medication and Cognitive TreatmentSchecker M.a · Pirnay-Dummer P.a, c · Schmidtke K.b, d · Hentrich-Hesse T.a · Borchardt D.a
aNeurolinguistisches Labor NLL, Forschungsbereich ‘Kognitive und Klinische Neurowissenschaften', Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie, and bZentrum für Geriatrie und Gerontologie Freiburg, Universitätskliniken Freiburg, and cInstitut für Erziehungswissenschaft, Universität Freiburg, Freiburg i.Br., and dOrtenau Klinikum, Offenburg, Germany
Prof. Dr. Michael Schecker
Neurolinguistisches Labor NLL
Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie, Universitätskliniken Freiburg, Prof. Dr. E. Schulz
Hauptstrasse 1, DE-79104 Freiburg i.Br. (Germany)
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Background/Aims: Many studies have shown that not only pharmacological treatment but also cognitive stimulation in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) improves language processing and (other) cognitive functions, stabilizes Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) functions and increases the subjective quality of life (wherein a combination of pharmacological intervention and cognitive stimulation could provide greater relief of clinical symptoms than either intervention given alone). Today, it is no longer the question of whether cognitive stimulation helps but rather what kind of stimulation helps more than others. Methods: A sample of 42 subjects with mild AD (all medicated with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and well adjusted) underwent clinical and cognitive evaluation and participated in a 6-month study with 2 experimental groups (i.e. ‘client-centered' global stimulation vs. cognitive training) and a control group. Since the test performance also depends on the individual test, we used a wide variety of tests; we z-transformed the results and then calculated the mean value for the global cognitive status (using the Mini-Mental State Examination) as well as for the single functional areas. Results: Between-group differences were found, they were overall in favor of the experimental groups. Different functional areas led to different treatment and test patterns. Client-centered, global, cognitive therapy stimulated many cognitive functions and thus led to a better performance in language processing and ADL/IADL. The subjective quality of life increased as well. The cognitive training (of working memory) improved only the ADL/IADL performance (more, however, than client-centered, global, cognitive stimulation) and stabilized the level of performance in the other three functional areas.
© 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel
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