Monday, June 4, 2007

Alzheimer’s Patients Decline Faster after Entering a Nursing Home

Most educated had most decline; day care experience lessened decline

June 1, 2007 – Alzheimer’s disease patients experienced a more rapid decline in their mental abilities after being placed in a nursing home, except for those that had prior experience in adult day care. These patients did not experience this faster rate of cognitive decline according to a new study by the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Alternatively, the increased cognitive decline upon placement may reflect difficulty adapting to an unfamiliar environment, consistent with clinical reports of increased confusion and behavior problems in those with dementia during acute hospitalization or trips away from home. Patients who had prior adult day care services may have been better able to adjust to the unfamiliar environment.

Most educated had most decline; day care experience lessened decline
The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes on Aging, which leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the medical, social and behavioral issues of older people, including Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.

The Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center is one of approximately 30 NIA-supported Alzheimer's Disease Centers across the U.S. which conduct basic science, clinical, and social and behavioral research on dementia and AD. General information on aging and aging research can be viewed at the NIA's home website,

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