Efficacy of three nonpharmacological interventions for Alzheimer's disease
Artiles, Aaron Thomas
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The leading cause of dementia globally is Alzheimer’s disease, and its incidence is increasing. Besides the immense clinical impact on the afflicted patient, Alzheimer’s disease has a significant social impact on the patient’s family and friends. Pharmacological interventions have shown modest results and are lacking in successful disease-modifying therapies. Three of the most common nonpharmacological interventions for Alzheimer’s disease are cognitive, exercise, and nutritional methods. The goal of this study was to analyze the efficacy of these interventions in an effort to uncover the most promising nonpharmacological strategies with which to utilize moving forward. This thesis reviewed a large number of studies evaluating different cognitive, exercise, and nutritional interventions for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The review considered each study by looking at both the methods used and the results obtained. The cognitive intervention studies revealed modest results, with cognitive rehabilitation being the most promising cognitive intervention. Exercise interventions showed positive results for the patients’ activities of daily living and quality of life. Although nutritional interventions produced modest improvements, the Mediterranean diet had the most encouraging results. Based on the analysis of these studies, this thesis concludes that cognitive rehabilitation, exercise, and the Mediterranean diet are the most effective nonpharmacological interventions for managing patients with Alzheimer’s disease in the future.