According to a recent USA Today article, rates of Alzheimer’s diagnosis are expected to triple by 2050. With the average cost to Medicare for an Alzheimer’s patient being more than three times the cost for patients without Alzheimer’s or other dementia, this increase in the number of people developing Alzheimer’s represents a huge fiscal issue for both government health care programs and families of those affected. Many health care costs associated with Alzheimer’s are not reimbursed by private insurers.
Research by Bateman (Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2012, read more) presents a clear progressive timeline that leads to the recognition of the value of early detection of Alzheimer’s disorder by using bio-markers. It then becomes possible to begin interventions such as cognitive training or drug therapy early enough to effectively slow down or even possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia.
A study with Captain’s Log published in the American Journal of Alzheimers and Other Dementias (Preserving Cognition Through an Integrated Cognitive Stimulation and Training Program. June/July 2009 vol. 24 no. 3 234-245) showed that cognitive functioning can be preserved in mildly and moderately-impaired elders through blending computer-based cognitive stimulation activities with traditional cognitive stimulation. Significant improvements were found on memory tests and dementia rating scales and these effects were sustained with no additional treatment 8 weeks post-intervention.
Find the full abstract of this study and other studies on Alzheimer’s and cognitive training here.