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For Patients at Risk for Alzheimer's, Multidisciplinary Intervention May Slow Decline — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 16, 2014

For Patients at Risk for Alzheimer's, Multidisciplinary Intervention May Slow Decline

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

A multipronged intervention is associated with better cognitive performance than usual health advice in older adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease, according to the results of a randomized trial presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference.

In the FINGER study (Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability), nearly 1300 adults aged 60 to 77 with modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer's were randomized to either usual medical advice or to an intervention that included modification of cardiovascular risk factors, nutritional advice, physical activity, cognitive training, and social activities. After 2 years, patients in the intervention group performed better on a cognitive exam, including tests of memory, executive function, and cognitive processing speed.

The Alzheimer's Association's director of scientific programs and outreach called the results "very encouraging," but said they require confirmation.

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