Behavioral/Nonpharmacological Approaches to Addressing Cognitive-Linguistic Symptoms in Individuals With Dementia Despite current barriers to developing and implementing nonpharmacological or behavioral cognitive-linguistic treatments for dementia, a growing evidence base indicates that individuals with dementia may indeed benefit from a range of nonpharmacological intervention approaches in terms of helping them maintain and/or improve their language and cognitive abilities as well as general ... Article
Article  |   March 31, 2016
Behavioral/Nonpharmacological Approaches to Addressing Cognitive-Linguistic Symptoms in Individuals With Dementia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura L. Murray
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • Eun Jin Paek
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • Disclosures: Financial: Laura L. Murray and Eun Jin Paek have no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Disclosures: Financial: Laura L. Murray and Eun Jin Paek have no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Laura L. Murray and Eun Jin Paek have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Laura L. Murray and Eun Jin Paek have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Part 1
Article   |   March 31, 2016
Behavioral/Nonpharmacological Approaches to Addressing Cognitive-Linguistic Symptoms in Individuals With Dementia
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, March 2016, Vol. 1, 12-25. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG15.12
History: Received October 30, 2015 , Accepted November 20, 2015
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, March 2016, Vol. 1, 12-25. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG15.12
History: Received October 30, 2015; Accepted November 20, 2015

Despite current barriers to developing and implementing nonpharmacological or behavioral cognitive-linguistic treatments for dementia, a growing evidence base indicates that individuals with dementia may indeed benefit from a range of nonpharmacological intervention approaches in terms of helping them maintain and/or improve their language and cognitive abilities as well as general functioning and emotional well being. With respect to the current dementia literature, this article describes restorative and compensatory approaches for cognitive symptoms, including direct stimulation of cognitive functions and internal and external strategies to maximize use of residual cognitive skills. We also summarize various language treatment techniques designed to address word retrieval deficits or functional communication issues in a range of dementia types and severity. Broader stimulation approaches such as Montessori-based treatment, reminiscence therapy, and exercise/movement therapy are also reviewed given their potential to benefit not only the cognitive-linguistic symptoms of individuals with dementia, but also other aspects of physical, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Last, we conclude by highlighting limitations in the current research literature along with factors to consider for maximizing nonpharmacological treatment effects (i.e., generalization and maintenance of treatment gains) in clinical or research settings.

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