Dementia researchers identify therapies to improve eating habits, reduce depression

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A particular type of memory training combined with a Montessori-based approach to daily living can decrease depression in dementia patients by improving their eating habits, according to a recent study.

Researchers at Taiwan's National Yang-Ming University conducted a study involving 90 people with dementia. Twenty-seven participants received routine care. Sixty-three participants went through 24 sessions involving spaced retrieval therapy and Montessori-based activities. Spaced retrieval is a therapy in which people are asked to remember something repeatedly, at increasing intervals of time. Montessori involves doing daily living activities in a sequential, repetitive way.

The participants who did the combination therapy were better able to remember proper eating habits, which corresponded to a higher body mass index and less depression than the control group, the researchers found.

The results appear in the online edition of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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