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Current Psychological Approaches in Neurodegenerative Diseases

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Handbook of Computational Neurodegeneration


Neurodegenerative Diseases (NDs) encompass a group of neurological disorders characterized by the slow and progressive deterioration of brain regions that are critical for cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and motor functioning. Currently, no disease-modifying pharmacological therapy exists while prevalence is increasing mainly due to the accelerated aging of global population. In this context, non-pharmacological treatments targeting cognitive, functional, and neuropsychiatric aspects gain growing attention. The purpose of this chapter is to present an overview of the main psychological approaches, with an emphasis being given on cognitive and behavioral functioning. Following a brief outlook of the complex etiology and pathophysiology of NDs and the associated cognitive impairment, the interventions involving cognitive stimulation, cognitive training, and cognitive rehabilitation and their current evidence are summarized. With reference to ancient philosophical theories, the concept of cognition takes a central role in the interaction of a person with the external environment and the development of mental disturbances. The philosophical analogy in modern psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral treatments is also evident in the practical, goal-oriented character of the approaches, and the philosophical nature of exercises identified in modern psychotherapy. Recent findings of the application of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for neuropsychiatric symptoms in neurodegenerative patients are presented as well as other therapeutic approaches like music therapy are also mentioned. Finally, drawing on Freud’s work on psychoanalysis, an attempt has been made to provide insights as to how psychodynamic models can be relevant to treating people with neurodegenerating dementia.

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Correspondence to Panagiotis Kormas .

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Kormas, P., Moutzouri, A. (2022). Current Psychological Approaches in Neurodegenerative Diseases. In: Vlamos, P., Kotsireas, I.S., Tarnanas, I. (eds) Handbook of Computational Neurodegeneration. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-75479-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-75479-6

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