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Does psychotherapy help treat Alzheimer's disease?

Judith London, MD
Psychiatry

Although psychotherapy does not stem the progression of Alzheimer's, psychotherapy can treat some of the emotional reactions that accompany the illness. The Alzheimer's Assn. sponsors support groups for people in the early stages of the disease, and these people describe the groups as a 'lifesaver'. In my experience, as I show in my book, "Connecting the Dots: Breakthroughs in Communication as Alzheimer's Advances", group therapy with those in the later stages of the disease improved their quality of life even with their memory deficits because unconscious memory remains in Alzheimer's. This means that people absorb impressions and still have feelings even if they cannot remember why they feel that way.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.