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Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2012;2012:983056. doi: 10.1155/2012/983056. Epub 2012 May 8.

Nutrition in severe dementia.

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Behavior Neurology Section, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), 04025-000 São Paulo SP, Brazil.


An increasing proportion of older adults with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias are now surviving to more advanced stages of the illness. Advanced dementia is associated with feeding problems, including difficulty in swallowing and respiratory diseases. Patients become incompetent to make decisions. As a result, complex situations may arise in which physicians and families decide whether artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) is likely to be beneficial for the patient. The objective of this paper is to present methods for evaluating the nutritional status of patients with severe dementia as well as measures for the treatment of nutritional disorders, the use of vitamin and mineral supplementation, and indications for ANH and pharmacological therapy.

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