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J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;50(2):559-66. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150455.

Beneficial Effects of an Integrated Psychostimulation Program in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease.

Author information

1
Alzheimer Center Educational, Day Care Centers of Fundació ACE, Barcelona, Spain.
2
Memory Clinic of Fundació ACE, Institut Catalá de Neurociències Aplicades, Barcelona, Spain.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.
4
Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron -Institut de Recerca, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (VHIR-UAB), Spain.
5
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The existing pharmacological treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD) can only slow the progression of symptoms or delay admission to long-term care facilities. The beneficial effects of non-drug treatments are poorly studied.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the effects of an Integrated Psychostimulation Program (IPP) in patients with mild-moderate AD treated with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors; and to identify factors related to greater benefit of the IPP.

METHODS:

206 patients (mean age = 75.9 years; MMSE = 19.6) were evaluated before starting the IPP and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months later. Measures included: Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cognitive Subscale of Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-Cog), Rapid Disability Rating Scale (RDRS-2), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q).

RESULTS:

Patients remained cognitively stable (MMSE/ADAS-Cog) for more than 6 months and significantly worsened at 9-month and 12-month follow-ups, without clinically significant functional changes (RDRS-2) or psychiatric symptoms(NPI-Q). The mean annual change on MMSE and ADAS-Cog were 2.06 and 3.56 points, respectively, lower than the annual decline demonstrated previously in similar patients (2.4 and 4.5, respectively). 42.7% of patients maintained or improved global cognitive scores between baseline and 12-month follow-up. The patients who maintained cognitive functions were older than those who did not (77.5 versus 74.7 years).

CONCLUSIONS:

The IPP may be an effective treatment to maintain cognition, functionality, and psychiatric symptoms in AD patients pharmacologically treated, and older age seems to increase beneficial effects of IPP.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer’s disease; Integral Psychostimulation Program; cognition; cognitive stimulation; dementia; functionality; non-pharmacological therapy

PMID:
26757182
PMCID:
PMC4745126
DOI:
10.3233/JAD-150455
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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