This study concerns the effectiveness of procedural memory training in mild and mild-moderate probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Eleven patients with AD (age: 78 ± 8.4 years; MMSE score: 20 ± 3.4; education: 5.7 ± 2.7 years) attending a day hospital, were individually trained, for three consecutive weeks (one hour/day; five days/week), in 13 basic and instrumental activities of daily living such as personal hygiene, using the telephone, dressing, reading, writing, etc. Seven AD patients (age: 74 ± 12 years; MMSE score: 19 ± 4.2; education: 5.3 ± 3.2 years) constituted the control group. Patients in both groups underwent baseline and follow up assessment (four months later) recording the total mean time employed to perform the 13 activities of daily living. The training group showed a significant reduction (p <.025) in the time necessary to perform the activities, while the control group showed a non-significant increase. Our results support the view that procedural memory in mild and mild-moderate AD is relatively well preserved and that training of activities of daily living constitutes a realistic goal for rehabilitation programmes.
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