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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 983056, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/983056
Review Article

Nutrition in Severe Dementia

Behavior Neurology Section, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), 04025-000 São Paulo SP, Brazil

Received 17 December 2011; Revised 18 February 2012; Accepted 21 February 2012

Academic Editor: Andrea Fuso

Copyright © 2012 Glaucia Akiko Kamikado Pivi et al. 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.

Abstract

An increasing proportion of older adults with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias are now surviving to more advanced stages of the illness. Advanced dementia is associated with feeding problems, including difficulty in swallowing and respiratory diseases. Patients become incompetent to make decisions. As a result, complex situations may arise in which physicians and families decide whether artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) is likely to be beneficial for the patient. The objective of this paper is to present methods for evaluating the nutritional status of patients with severe dementia as well as measures for the treatment of nutritional disorders, the use of vitamin and mineral supplementation, and indications for ANH and pharmacological therapy.