Proper Eating Improves Dementia Patients' Physical And Mental HealthEditor's Choice
Main Category: Alzheimer's / Dementia
Also Included In: Seniors / Aging; Nutrition / Diet; Depression
Article Date: 01 Mar 2013 - 11:00 PST
Proper Eating Improves Dementia Patients' Physical And Mental Health
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4.33 (3 votes)
Dementia patients who are given an educational program to help them remember proper eating habits not only improve their physical health, but their mental health as well.
The patients who receive this intervention are less likely to show depressive symptoms half-a-year later.
The finding came from a new study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing which suggests that doctors should look into using this intervention in people affected by dementia who also have poor nutrition and signs of depression.
Previous research has suggested that seniors with depression are at increased risk of dementia.
However, poor nutrition or reduced consumption of food may result in symptoms of depression in individuals with dementia.
The effectiveness of a combination of methods to train dementia patients to remember to eat appropriately was analyzed by a team of researchers, led by Li-Chan Lin, RN, PhD, from the National Yang-Ming University, in Taipei, Taiwan.
The intervention consisted of:
- Spaced retrieval - a type of memory training that makes a person recall a piece of information at increasing time intervals.
- Montessori-based activities - structured activities associated with daily life are sequentially and repeatedly practiced.
The identical intervention was given to 38 volunteers with sessions that were modified to fit each person's learning response.
The investigation also involved 27 control participants who only received standard care.
Before and after the sessions, as well as at one, three, and 6 months later, the scientists tested for:
- body mass index (BMI)
Additionally, scores for depression were lowered in parallel with nutrition improvement in volunteers who were given interventions modified to fit their learning response.
Dr. Lin concluded:
"It has been shown that spaced retrieval or Montessori-based activities can improve eating ability. In our research, besides improving eating ability, improved nutrition, increased body mass index, and a moderating effect on depressive symptoms are produced by spaced retrieval combined with Montessori-based activities. We expect that this combined intervention can produce greater effects than spaced retrieval or Montessori-based activities can alone."
Written by Sarah Glynn
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
Hua-Shan Wu PhD RN, Li-Chan Lin PhD RN
Journal of Advanced Nursing 28 Feb 2013; DOI: 10.1111/jan.12097
25 May. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257109.php>
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