We often get questions on how to use IM with specific populations, how to work with the equipment and anything else that is causing our Providers headaches. Amy Vega, a fabulous SLP and our Clinical Education Director, is here to answer those questions in a weekly series. This time she tackles a big one for Providers, can IM training help dementia and Alzheimer's. Short answer, yes! But read more to find out how.
Alzheimer’s has become a growing concern as human life expectancy continues to increase; every day thousands of individuals deal with the onset of the disease. Alzheimer’s will cause the brain to tangle itself up with fibrous proteins that choke off portions of brain matter. Over time, the neurons in our brain lose the ability to communicate with each other and will die as a result. Once the damage reaches the hippocampus, individuals will begin to lose memories and the ability to learn, thus impairing many activities of daily living (ADLs). Eventually, the loss of motor function, memory and decision making skills will rob a person of their ability to care for themselves. IM’s exercises use complex, precisely timed movements that are mixed with focused attention, cognitive processing and decision making to activate and synchronize the timing in the brain. Not only does IM therapy help prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s, but it can help to restore previously lost functions.
We have all heard of the dangerous effects to our health from smoking cigarettes, the habit causes different types of cancers, emphysema, gum disease, digestive, nervous, and cardiovascular problems, the list goes on and on. To add to the dangers of smoking is Alzheimer’s disease, since smoking causes narrowing of blood vessels it could contribute to vascular dementia by depriving brain cells of oxygen.
Alzheimer’s patient comes out of her cocoon: husband says, “I got my wife back”
When we had this case study turned into us, we couldn’t believe the results. It is about an Alzheimer’s patient who couldn’t remember her grocery list while at the store, lost her keys consistently, couldn’t remember her grandchildren’s names, and couldn’t remember how to sew (which was her previous career and favorite past-time). She went through IM and that all changed. Read the case study to find out how.