Marcel Brasey has been awarded the 2010 "Coup de Coeur" prize by the Swiss Alzheimer's Association of Geneva. Marcel received the prize for his courage and determination in facing Alzheimer's and for creating his French-language site, "Survivre avec un diagnostic de maladie d'Alzheimer, The prize was also awarded to the Memory Clinic of Geneva, represented by Anne-Claude Juillerat Van der Linden, for supporting Marcel's efforts. Congratulations Marcel and Anne-Claude!
Summary: The New York University Caregiver Intervention lessens caregiver depression, reduces caregiver concern about behavioral symptoms and delays institutionalization. The program may be coming soon to a community center near you.
Mary Mittelman, Dr.P.H.
In my last post, I wrote about the evidence that a program of caregiver education and support lessens caregiver depression and lengthens the time a person with dementia can be cared for at home, rather than in an institution. One such program has been studied extensively by Mary Mittelman and her colleagues. Dr. Mittelman is Director of Psychosocial Research and Support, Center of Excellence on Brain Aging and Research Professor Department of Psychiatry at New York University. She is also co- author of Counseling the Alzheimer’s Caregiver: A Resource for Health Care Professionals.
In a clinical trial ranging over 23 years and involving more than 400 caregivers of spouses diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Dr. Mittelman and her colleagues (including Bill Haley at the University of South Florida) compared caregivers receiving intensive education and support to those receiving “usual care.”
Summary: A systematic review of clinical trials of nondrug treatments for Alzheimer’s disease found good evidence that a program of caregiver education and support lengthens the time a person with dementia can be cared for at home, rather than in an institution. The same review found evidence (although not from large, well-designed trials) that some nondrug treatments for people with dementia and their caregivers may improve patients’ memory, mood, behavior and functionality as well as improve caregivers’ mood, psychological well-being and quality of life. More research is needed to investigate the costs and benefits of nondrug treatments.
Research on drugs to treat memory loss dominates the headlines, but some researchers think nondrug treatments may be just as effective. Sometimes called “nonpharmacological therapies” or “psychosocial interventions,” these nondrug treatments include physical exercise, caregiver education, cognitive stimulation, counseling, music therapy, reminiscence therapy and training on completing “activities of daily living” (ADLs). Unlike drug-based treatments, these treatments are often for caregivers, as well as for people with memory loss.
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