EARLY INTERVENTION IN ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Interventions including changes to diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring may make a difference for individuals at risk of cognitive decline.1

Diagnosis of MCI due to AD is an opportunity for potentially meaningful interventions

Doctors have access to a range of evidence-based early interventions after diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Early diagnosis also provides the opportunity to prepare financial and end-of-life plans while cognitive impairment remains mild.2,3

The current pharmacological landscape for managing patients with Alzheimer’s disease includes symptomatic treatments and treatments for comorbidities such as depression.4

Discover how biomarker confirmation may lead to effective intervention.

Get tips for discussing MCI due to AD diagnosis and biomarker testing options with your patients.

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Nonpharmacological interventions for your patients

IMPLEMENT LIFESTYLE CHANGES1,3

A focus on overall brain health to reduce cognitive decline may include:

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IMPLEMENT LIFESTYLE CHANGES1,3

  • Exercise

  • Smoking cessation

  • Cardiovascular health

  • Low-fat/high vegetable and fruit diets

  • Adequate sleep

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RECOMMEND COGNITIVE AND MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTIONS1-3

Provide mental stimulation strategies to enhance cognitive function:

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RECOMMEND COGNITIVE AND MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTIONS1-3

  • Cognitive training and stimulation, reality orientation, and reminiscence therapy may be beneficial for patients with dementia

  • Refer to mental health experts for psychological and behavioral therapies, counseling, and peer support groups

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PLAN FOR A MORE SAFE AND SECURE FUTURE3

Educate patients and caregivers on safety and financial planning considerations:

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PLAN FOR A MORE SAFE AND SECURE FUTURE3

  • Safety considerations include high fall risk, wandering, and driving implications; discuss appropriate living arrangements and ongoing care needs

  • Consider referral to a physical therapist to improve function and protect against slips and falls

  • Help patients understand their coverage and the cost of care

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OFFER SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS3

Help patients assemble a care team and advise caregivers about health needs and supportive services:

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OFFER SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS3

  • Provide caregivers training and resources to help them cope with their increasingly demanding role

  • Refer as needed to other experts for the psychological support and encouragement required to stay healthy

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Early interventions in AD can help patients along their journey2

These interventions may be effective in:

IMPROVING COGNITIVE FUNCTION

ADDRESSING DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS

DELAYING LONG-TERM NURSING CARE

Caregiver interventions are an important component of overall care3,4

As of 2017, 48% of caregivers were unpaid while caring for a spouse, parent, or family member. Dementia caregivers tend to provide more extensive assistance as the disease progresses, with an emphasis on self-care and mobility. The care required of family members can result in increased emotional stress and feelings of depression. Tailored interventions can have a positive impact on the well-being of caregivers. 

Continued support for caregivers is instrumental in treating Alzheimer’s disease holistically.

Nonpharmacological interventions and cognitive decline in patients at risk of dementia1

In the 2-year FINGER* Study (N=1,260) in Finland, multidomain lifestyle-based interventions helped cognitive performance in patients at risk of dementia versus regular health advice.

  • Patients were 60-77 years old and at risk of dementia, defined as cognitive performance at the mean level or slightly lower than expected for their age according to Finnish population norms
  • Patients suspected of dementia or previously diagnosed with dementia were excluded
  • Patients in the intervention group received multidomain interventions: diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring
  • Patients in the control group received regular health advice

* Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability.
Elderly at-risk individuals who had a CAIDE Dementia Risk Score of 6 or higher and cognitive performance at mean level or lower for Finnish population norms.
CAIDE=Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Incidence of Dementia.

Change in Cognitive Performance at 24 Months Compared to the Control Group as Assessed by NTB Total Score1

Change in cognition was measured through comprehensive neuropsychological test battery (NTB), a composite score based on results from 14 tests.

Secondary cognitive outcomes based on NTB domain Z scores1:

Intervention group patients saw a significant intervention effect in processing speed and executive functioning.

No significant change was associated with the intervention group in the memory domain.

Journal Feature

See how baseline patient characteristics influenced results in this multidomain intervention to improve or maintain cognitive function and reduce cognitive decline among at-risk individuals.

Read: Rosenberg A, Ngandu T, Rusanen M, et al. Multidomain lifestyle intervention benefits a large elderly population at risk for cognitive decline and dementia regardless of baseline characteristics: The FINGER trial.
Alzheimers Dement. 2018;14(3):263-270.

Read: Rosenberg A, Ngandu T, Rusanen M, et al. Multidomain lifestyle intervention benefits a large elderly population at risk for cognitive decline and dementia regardless of baseline characteristics: The FINGER trial.
Alzheimers Dement. 2018;14(3):263-270.

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