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Brain Games to Slow Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Disease

  • Katelyn Anderson
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Katelyn Anderson, MS2, or George T. Grossberg, MD, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 1438 S. Grand Blvd., Monteleone Hall, St. Louis, MO 63104.
    Affiliations
    Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
    Search for articles by this author
  • George T. Grossberg
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Katelyn Anderson, MS2, or George T. Grossberg, MD, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 1438 S. Grand Blvd., Monteleone Hall, St. Louis, MO 63104.
    Affiliations
    Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
    Search for articles by this author
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive brain disease which is the leading cause of dementia worldwide. Currently available, Food and Drug Administration-approved therapies for AD provide symptomatic benefits for some but are neither preventative nor disease-modifying. Once a clinician makes a clinical diagnosis of AD in an older adult, adult children often want to know what can be done nonpharmacologically to slow cognitive decline. They also want to know what they can do to delay onset or decrease their risk of AD. Although genetic vulnerability plays a role even in late-onset or sporadic AD, there is evidence that certain life-style modification techniques may slow progression of cognitive decline in AD patients and may delay or decrease risk of AD in family members. The strongest evidence for efficacy exists for physical activity (exercise) and brain activity. Relative to the latter, it is postulated that by stimulating the brain throughout life, we can slow cognitive decline and possibly delay/decrease risk of AD.
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