Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Alzheimer's Society Announces Grants to Study Non-Drug Treatment for Dementia

As anyone knows who has faced a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or other dementia in their own family, it can be devastating news.  I remember asking the doctor whether there was some "behavioral" training or program -- in addition to or as a substitute for medication -- that might help my own family member preserve, if not improve, existing cognition.  The answer at that time was a slow, sad shake of the doctor's head. 

That response is why many will be pleased to hear that the Alzheimer's Association supports research into non-drug therapies.  The latest grant funding for four projects, announced in Chicago last week, includes:

  • A study of the use of "exercise or cognitive stimulation, or a combination of the two, for lowering the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults."  $247k to Dr. Amy Jack at the University of California, San Diego.
  • Evaluation of the impact of aerobic interval training regimens on the brain and thinking abilities of people with type 2 diabetes.  $250k to Dr. Gail Musen at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.
  • A study of "Skill-Building Through Task-Oriented Motor Practice (STOMP) for improving daily life skills and delaying decline in people" with dementia. "STOMP utilizes repetitive therapy and a learning technique that focuses on immediate correct steps instead of trial-and-error to strengthen and preserve memory for completing daily living tasks." $100k to Dr. Carrie Ciro at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences.  

For more information on Alzheimer's Association research and results, see here and here.  I can say that that I'm glad to see studies of regular movement or exercise.  In my own family, I saw some stabilization of cognition coincide with greater activity.  Being on one level -- with easy access to the outdoors and lots of room and safe areas to walk -- has proven to be very helpful for my father. 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/elder_law/2014/10/alzheimers-society-announces-grants-to-study-non-drug-treatment-for-dementia.html

Cognitive Impairment, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Grant Deadlines/Awards, Science | Permalink

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