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Is Aquatic Therapy an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia that impacts the individual’s memory, thinking, and behavior. This disease is progressive, meaning that it will continue to get worse and will eventually make it almost impossible for the affected person to complete even the simplest of daily tasks on their own. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50-80% of all cases of dementia. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are treatments that can slow the progression of the disease and improve the individual’s quality of life. Exercise therapy is one such treatment that has been proven effective to improve physical and cognitive functioning. However, many individual’s with Alzheimer’s also suffer from other medical conditions such as arthritis/joint pain since the disease is most common in people over the age of 65. As a result, many people find the exercise therapy difficult. However, current studies show that Aquatic Physical Therapy might serve as a good treatment for Alzheimer’s because it allows for exercise therapy to take place in an environment where pressure on joints is minimal. Studies have shown gains on strength and balance due to aquatic physical therapy participation.

Sources:

Alzheimer’s Association

Meyers, K. et al. “Aquatic Therapy with Alzheimer’s Disease.” Annals of Long Term Care. May 2013.

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