Executive Functioning, Visuo-Spatial and Inter-Personal Skill Preservation in Alzheimer’s and Mild Cognitive Impairment
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Most research, clinical and behavioral, has focused on cognitive degeneration, disease progression and related difficulties in Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, most therapeutic approaches have as their goal the improvement of cognitive capacities in general. This paper discusses the case of two patients under intra-nasal insulin therapy (cf. Craft S, Baker L, Montine T, Minoshima S, Watson S, Claxton A, Arbuckle M, Callaghan M, Tsai E, Plymate S, Green P, Leverenz J, Cross D, Gerton B, Arch Neurol 69(1):29–38, 2012; de la Monte, 2012; Freiherr J, Hallschmid M, Frey II WH, Brünner YF, Chapman CD, Hölscher C, Craft S, De Felice FG, Benedict C, CNS Drugs 27:505–514, 2013; Schatz, González-Rivera, Pragmat Cognit 23(2), 2016; a.o.): an 86 year old male with moderate Alzheimer’s disease and a 67 year old male with early on-set Alzheimer’s who have both shown significant improvement of certain cognitive functions, mostly related to executive functioning and visuo-spatial skills while the elder patient exhibited severe deterioration in other capacities related to episodic memory. Selective cognitive improvement, even if partial, can have a significant impact on the quality of life of a patient and the ability to interact with others in a functional way; ameliorating some of the most devastating interactional and behavioral aspects of the disease.
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