Cognitive stimulation therapy: training, maintenance and implementation in clinical trials
Zunera Khan, Anne Corbett, Clive Ballard
Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, King’s College London, Guy's Campus, London, UK
Abstract: There are around 35 million people worldwide with dementia, more than half of whom have Alzheimer's disease (AD). Presently there are only four licensed pharmacological treatments available for treating the neuropsychological symptoms of AD. These include cholinesterase inhibitors, licensed for the treatment of people with mild to moderate AD, and an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist (memantine) licensed for the treatment of people with moderate to severe AD. These treatment options have modest symptomatic benefits for at least 6 months and possibly for 2 years or longer. Increasing evidence from randomized controlled trials has shown the potential value of cognitive training and cognitive rehabilitation in people with AD. There is a good evidence base to support the use of cognitive stimulation as a nonpharmacological treatment approach for people with AD, of which the most promising is cognitive stimulation therapy (CST). CST has shown benefits for cognition and well-being in people with dementia across a number of randomized controlled trials. There are important key issues related to the use of CST for people with AD, such as long-term benefits, implementation of individualized CST, adjunctive benefits with pharmacological treatments, and optimizing overall implementation of CST. Some of these key issues are already being addressed by ongoing clinical trials. Nevertheless, the strength of the current evidence from randomized controlled trials gives strong support to clinical implementation of CST in practice. Ongoing clinical trials will help to refine and optimize the use of CST in clinical practice.
Keywords: cognitive stimulation therapy, cognition stimulation therapy, intervention, training, dementia, Alzheimer's disease
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