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TitleCognitive rehabilitation in a visual variant of Alzheimer's disease
Author(s)Alves, Jorge
Magalhães, Rosana
Arantes, Mavilde
Cruz, Sara
Gonçalves, Óscar F.
Sampaio, Adriana
KeywordsAlzheimer disease
Middle Aged
Neuropsychological tests
cognitive rehabilitation
posterior cortical atrophy
cognitive intervention
Alzheimer's disease
Issue date2015
JournalApplied Neuropsychology. Adult
CitationAlves, J., Magalhaes, R., Arantes, M., Cruz, S., Goncalves, O. F., & Sampaio, A. (2015). Cognitive Rehabilitation in a Visual Variant of Alzheimer's Disease. Applied Neuropsychology-Adult, 22(1), 73-78. doi: 10.1080/23279095.2013.831865
Abstract(s)Alzheimer's disease (AD) is commonly associated with marked memory deficits; however, nonamnestic variants have been consistently described as well. Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a progressive degenerative condition in which posterior regions of the brain are predominantly affected, therefore resulting in a pattern of distinctive and marked visuospatial symptoms, such as apraxia, alexia, and spatial neglect. Despite the growing number of studies on cognitive and neural bases of the visual variant of AD, intervention studies remain relatively sparse. Current pharmacological treatments offer modest efficacy. Also, there is a scarcity of complementary nonpharmacological interventions with only two previous studies of PCA. Here we describe a highly educated 57-year-old patient diagnosed with a visual variant of AD who participated in a cognitive intervention program (comprising reality orientation, cognitive stimulation, and cognitive training exercises). Neuropsychological assessment was performed across moments (baseline, postintervention, follow-up) and consisted mainly of verbal and visual memory. Baseline neuropsychological assessment showed deficits in perceptive and visual-constructive abilities, learning and memory, and temporal orientation. After neuropsychological rehabilitation, we observed small improvements in the patient's cognitive functioning, namely in verbal memory, attention, and psychomotor abilities. This study shows evidence of small beneficial effects of cognitive intervention in PCA and is the first report of this approach with a highly educated patient in a moderate stage of the disease. Controlled studies are needed to assess the potential efficacy of cognition-focused approaches in these patients, and, if relevant, to grant their availability as a complementary therapy to pharmacological treatment and visual aids.
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Appears in Collections:CIPsi - Artigos (Papers)

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