-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Helping people with
dementia to eat more regularly improves their physical health and
may lower symptoms of depression, a small new study from Taiwan
The research included 63 dementia patients who were trained to
remember proper eating habits and 27 patients who received usual
care. The memory training used a method called spaced retrieval,
which requires people to recall a piece of information over
increasingly longer time intervals. Another memory-training tool
involved practicing tasks associated with daily living.
The patients underwent tests for nutrition, body-mass index (a
measurement of body fat based on height and weight) and depression
before the start of the study and again six months later.
People who underwent the combination memory training showed
improved nutrition and a healthy increase in body-mass index, as
well as reduced depression scores, according to the study published
online Feb. 28 in the
Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Depression scores declined for patients who got the nutrition
training, as well, the researchers said.
Li-Chan Lin, of the National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan, and
colleagues said health care professionals may want to consider
using this type of approach in dementia patients who have poor
nutrition and signs of depression.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
has more about
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