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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 18, Issue 4, Pages 225-233

Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in Mild and Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Renata Ávila,1,2 Isabel A. M. Carvalho,1 Cássio M.C. Bottino,1 and Eliane C. Miotto3

1Old Age Research Group (PROTER), Department and Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
3Division of Psychology and Department of Neurology, Hospital das Clinicas, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Received 18 February 2008; Accepted 18 February 2008

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of a neuropsychological rehabilitation (NR) program on patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Methods: The sample was composed of 16 elderly outpatients who participated in an open trial with rivastigmine (6 to 12 mg/day) for 4 months and were randomized to 3 different groups: 1. group NR (N = 5), 2. individualized NR (N = 6) and 3. NR at home under supervision of a relative or caregiver (N = 5). All 3 groups fulfilled the same NR protocol consisting of a once a week session. Just before and after the 22 week period of rehabilitation, all patients were evaluated using psychiatric and functional scales, and neuropsychological tests by interviewers that did not participate in the cognitive training.

Results: The intervention did not produce any statistically significant change, but small gains were observed on some cognition tests, activities of daily living (ADL), and psychiatric symptoms in groups 1 and 2.

Conclusion: Group NR is recommended for reducing psychiatric symptoms, and individualized NR for improving ADL. NR at home either has no associated benefits, or the training sessions were not appropriately conducted by the caregiver. However, additional research with larger samples is necessary to confirm these observations.