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Sci - Tech

Baking cake or gardening could help combat Alzheimer’s

Thursday - Feb 16, 2012, 12:02pm (GMT+5.5)
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London -  Cognitive stimulation treatment (CST), which involves activities like gardening, cooking and group discussions, helps improve memory, communication skills and general well-being in Alzheimer’s patients, researchers say.

Doing structured activities with others has been shown to improve sufferers’ memory and quality of life ‘consistently’, the stated.

The finding is based on the analysis of 15 studies of elderly people with mild to moderate dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the Daily Mail reported.

About half of the 700 participants received CST, which involved them in activities several times a week in groups of four or five.
These patients scored higher in memory tests than those visited by home helps or given medication or physical therapy, with the benefits lasting for up to three months after treatment had been completed.

The recipients of CST and their carers also noted improvements in their communication skills and general wellbeing.

Professor Bob Woods of Bangor University, who carried out the review, said the findings were “the most consistent yet” in favour of psychological treatments for dementia.

He stressed that CST differs from simple ‘brain training’, such as doing puzzles.

“This is not doing the same exercises over and over again by themselves. There might be a session out of 14 which is devoted to word games and puzzles, and other sessions for reminiscing or doing something practical like baking a cake or gardening,” Woods explained.

He said further work would focus on whether CST could be carried out by family members, rather than carers, on a one-to-one basis.


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