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Memory rehabilitation in alzheimer's Disease: Preliminary findings


Until the cause of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is discovered, programs designed to extend functioning are critical to confront the projected increase in cases and the escalating cost of patient management. A program of rehabilitation designed to improve memory was developed that focussed on effortful and involuntary processes of memory and amplification of attention. Eleven patients with probable AD and their spouses enrolled in a four week course to improve their ability to recall names and faces, and recent events. Rehearsal and stimulation of "deep" processing significantly improved the ability of AD patients to recall name-face relationships. Recall of television content was significantly improved with procedures requiring patients to expend effort while they watched. A significant event technique that provoked "emotional" memories and produced "flashbulb" memories was the most effective procedure. Patients had nearly perfect recall for events during days of significant events. Generally the most effective techniques for improving memory involved manipulation of the environment and deemphasized memorization as a goal. © 1993 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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