Alzheimer’s: Non-drug Interventions to Improve Quality of Life

It is not easy to take care of some­one suf­fer­ing from Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. Qual­i­ty of life for both patients and care­givers usu­al­ly dete­ri­o­rate as the dis­ease pro­gress­es. This issue also has an eco­nom­ic side: the care pro­vid­ed by fam­i­ly mem­bers is val­ued at near­ly $144 bil­lion. What would hap­pen if care­givers could not car­ry on any­more? As this arti­cle from the Huff­in­g­ton post reminds us, there is no pill to help fam­i­lies stay togeth­er longer, and have hap­pi­er lives. How­ev­er there are a grow­ing num­ber of non-phar­ma­co­log­ic inter­ven­tions that could achieve this.

Improv­ing qual­i­ty of life for indi­vid­u­als with demen­tia and their fam­i­lies is a fun­da­men­tal treat­ment goal, but con­sis­tent­ly receives far less atten­tion and fund­ing than drug research.

There are a grow­ing num­ber of such non-phar­ma­co­log­ic inter­ven­tions […] These pro­grams meet the gold stan­dard for both drug and non-drug treat­ments: they have been proven effec­tive in ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als. And, unlike drug ther­a­py, there are no adverse side effects.

We must rec­og­nize the impor­tance of coun­sel­ing, skills train­ing, and home envi­ron­men­tal inter­ven­tions, increase sup­port for fur­ther research, and help fam­i­lies con­nect with exist­ing proven programs

Com­ment: Did you know about these non-phar­ma­co­log­ic inter­ven­tions? Accord­ing to the authors of the arti­cle, “most fam­i­lies cop­ing with Alzheimer’s or oth­er demen­tia nev­er hear about” these. This reminds me of the “cog­ni­tive shop, a sort of one-stop shop­ping for every­thing from Alzheimer’s dis­ease pre­ven­tion to guid­ed care for mild or mod­er­ate dis­ease” pro­posed Kosik and Clegg. Seems like a great idea: Infor­ma­tion is key in deal­ing with Alzheimer’s.

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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