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March 4, 1998

Consensus Statement on Alzheimer Disease

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(9):655-656. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-9-jbk0304

To the Editor.—Although Dr Small and colleagues1 emphasize pharmacological intervention for Alzheimer disease from which only partial efficacy can be expected, little attention has been paid to the role of some nonpharmacological interventions for which efficacy, albeit moderate, has been demonstrated.2,3 Small et al, strictly mimicking the conclusions recently published by the American Psychiatric Association,4 state, "As the cognitive improvements associated with reality orientation and memory retraining are weak, many specialists believe the potential risks outweigh the benefits."1(p1366) In drawing this conclusion, however, the authors do not take into account recent findings on procedural memory (cognitive, sensory, and motor) stimulation and cognition-oriented treatments in Alzheimer disease; moreover, they seem to overstate adverse events while understating potential benefits of cognition-oriented psychotherapies.