Combo of taiji, cognitive therapy and support groups benefits people with dementiaDecember 5th, 2008 - 2:06 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Dec 5 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Illinois have suggested that those diagnosed with early stage dementia can slow their physical, mental and psychological decline by taking part in therapeutic programs that combine counselling, support groups, Taiji and qigong.
“Most of the research on dementia and most of the dollars up until this point have gone into pharmacological interventions,” said Sandy Burgener, a professor of nursing at the University of Illinois and lead author on the study.
“But we have evidence now from studies like mine that show that other approaches can make a difference in the way people live and can possibly also impact their cognitive function,” Burgener added.
In the study, 24 people with early stage dementia participated in an intensive 40-week program.
The intervention included biweekly sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups, along with three sessions per week of traditional Chinese martial arts exercises and meditation, called qigong (chee-gong) and Taiji (tye-jee).
A comparison group of people with early stage dementia did not participate in these programs for the first 20 weeks of the intervention.
The researchers found that participants in the program benefited in a variety of ways. After 20 weeks, those in the treatment group improved in several measures of physical function, including balance and lower leg strength, while those in the comparison group did not. There were also positive cognitive and psychological effects.
“We saw gains in self-esteem in the treatment group and pretty severe declines in self-esteem in the comparison group. Those in the treatment group also had sustained and slightly improved mental status scores, which meant we were impacting cognitive function,” Burgener said.
Burgener said that both groups saw increases in depression but the increase for those in the treatment group was a fraction of that seen in the comparison group.
No additional benefits were seen after 40 weeks, but participants were able to maintain their initial gains. The intervention was quite popular with the study subjects and their caregivers.
Burgener said that previous studies have shown that such programs can work as well as anti-dementia drugs.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’’s Disease and Other Dementias. (ANI)
- MRI scans show structural brain changes in people at Alzheimer's risk - Nov 17, 2010
- DHA 'fish oil' supplements 'not useful for those with mild Alzheimer's' - Nov 03, 2010
- Smoking Doubles Risk Of Alzheimer's Disease, Study Reveals - Oct 26, 2010
- Lithium slows development of Alzheimer's: Research - Apr 28, 2011
- Treating high BP, cholesterol, diabetes may delay Alzheimer's - Apr 14, 2011
- Brain size linked to early Alzheimer's risk - Dec 28, 2011
- People with thin brain structure 'at greater risk for Alzheimer's' - Apr 14, 2011
- Computer-exercise combo prevents memory loss - May 02, 2012
- Food in small packets make people eat more - Oct 28, 2011
- Clogged arteries can also cause clouded thinking - Jul 22, 2011
- Apple juice 'can enhance Alzheimer's patients' mood' - Jun 15, 2010
- Cognitive decline 4 times faster in Alzheimer's patients - Mar 23, 2010
- Study reveals that Sleep apnea is linked to dementia - Aug 10, 2011
- High plasma levels of beta-amyloid linked with faster cognitive decline - Aug 10, 2010
- Improving brain plasticity could delay Alzheimer's onset in elderly - Mar 24, 2011
Tags: chinese martial arts, cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive function, cognitive therapy, comparison group, decline, declines, dementia, exercises, gong, leg strength, meditation, pharmacological interventions, psychological effects, self esteem, stage dementia, support groups, therapeutic programs, treatment group, university of illinois