Introduction: The purpose of this research was to assess effects of a mindfulness based neuropsychological intervention on the clinical course of Alzheimer's disease.
Material and method: A two year randomized and double blind clinical trial was conducted on 127 probable Alzheimer's disease patients, according to NINCDS-ADRDA scale. Patients were grouped into three experimental groups (cognitive stimulation, progressive muscular relaxation, and mindfulness) plus a control group. All participants were receiving donepezil. Cognitive skills were assessed with CAMCOG and MMSE, functional area with RDRS-2, and NPI was used for psychopathology screening. Three treatment sessions per week were carried out for two years, and follow up measurements were taken every six months.
Results: The global cognitive function, functionality and behavioral disorders measurements indicated that patients from the experimental group based on mindfulness were stable during the two years, while patients from the control group, as well as the other experimental groups, showed a mild but significant worsening of their mental capacities.
Conclusion: The mindfulness based neuropsychological program showed better cognitive and functional stability, as well as significant improvement in the psychopathological condition of mild to moderate Alzheimer' patients. These results support the idea that a mindfulness based intervention can produce a clinically relevant improvement in the treatment of dementia. More research is needed to confirm these data.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Atención plena o mindfulness; Cognición; Cognition; Enfermedad de Alzheimer; Funcionalidad; Functionality; Mindfulness; Psicopatología; Psychopathology.
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