Researchers in Germany were able to postpone a decline in cognitive function amongst people with dementia in a nursing-home setting who participated in a 12 month regime of behavioural and mental exercises.
The study, which looked at 98 people with dementia living in five nursing homes in Bavaria, Germany, placed 50 people in a group therapy programme called MAKS which consisted of motor stimulation, cognitive stimulation, daily living activities and a therapy session.
After a year, those in the MAKS group with mild to moderate dementia were reported to have maintained their level of cognition on the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale and ability to carry out daily living activities. Those in the control group receiving their usual care were reported to have declined in cognitive and functional ability.
Non-pharmacological, multicomponent group therapy in patients with degenerative dementia: a 12-month randomised, controlled trial. Elmar Graessel, Renate Stemmer, Birgit Eichenseer, Sabine Pickel, Carolin Donath, Johannes Kornhuber and Katharina Luttenberger. BMC Medicine 2011, 9:129.