Dementia, the fifth-leading cause of death for Americans over 65, affected 5 million American adults in 2014, with numbers growing annually. Psychotropic drugs are often prescribed as therapy, but side effects include dizziness and a higher risk of falls. In the United States, polypharmacy is also an issue for this age group, with more than 44% of men and over 57% of women currently taking five or more medications. Ironically, a side effect of polypharmacy is cognitive impairment.
Florida Atlantic University researchers conducted a pilot study of adults with dementia to evaluate nondrug interventions. Participants engaged in chair yoga, a music intervention or chair exercise for 12 weeks. Investigators found that the chair yoga group significantly improved quality of life compared with the music intervention members.
The study was published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias (2019; doi:10.1177/1533317519872635).