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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1981 Apr;29(4):164-71.

Senile dementia: combined pharmacologic and psychologic treatment.


Either supportive counseling (SC) or cognitive training (CT) was used in an attempt to enhance the efficiency of a standard pharmacologic treatment for dementia, viz, dihydroergotoxine mesylate (DEM, Hydergine). DEM was administered orally to 21 moderately demented subjects, in a dosage of 1 mg three times daily; and SC or CT was conducted for one hour every two weeks for a total of 12 weeks. The CT was designed to enhance memory and other intellectual functions by the teaching of organizational schemes and mnemonic devices. Outcome measurements included the Sandoz Clinical Assessment-Geriatric (SCAG), a behavioral rating scale measuring selected symptoms and signs of dementia; the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD); and the Buschke Selective Reminding Scale (BSRT), a psychometric test of memory and learning. The DEM + CT group of patients improved more than did the DEM + SC group for the measures of memory and learning (BSRT). However, no differences between groups were noted for the HRSD or SCAG behavioral measures.

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