WebMD is reporting that cognitive exercise slows Alzheimer's Disease and that the effects may be more pronounced with frequent cognitive exertion and testing.
Oct. 27, 2004 -- Coupling the drug Aricept with regular mental stimulation dramatically slows the decline of Alzheimer's disease in people with mild or moderate disease compared with medications alone, new research shows.
When Alzheimer's patients participated in weekly sessions -- which involved reading and writing -- they retained more communication skills, functional abilities, emotional well-being, and quality of life, compared with those patients who were simply taking Aricept, reports researcher Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, with the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Aricept is widely used because it helps people with Alzheimer's disease retain memory and improves performance in other mental functions, writes Chapman. However, the improvements are fleeting; in Alzheimer's disease, a progressive brain disease, Aricept reduces functional decline by only 38% over one year's time when compared with placebo.
Patients with Alzheimer's disease rarely get any treatments beyond medications like Aricept. However, a growing number of studies have shown that mental exercises can help with memory, verbal abilities, problem solving, calculations, overall functioning, and quality of life, Chapman notes.>> ">read more>>