Fronto-temporal dementia is a rare form of dementia it is a relentless condition and affects 800,000 of us here in the UK. And is the result of damage to the areas of the brain responsible for behaviour, emotions and language.
A fairly new treatment called Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) was developed in 2003 by a team at University College London. CST is a programme of structured activity sessions for small groups of dementia sufferers, recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Effective in treating Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, as well as less common kinds, research has shown it works as well as medication for those suffering milder forms of the disease.
Group leaders send off for a starter pack which explains how to set up sessions. The sessions involve physical warm-up exercises, games and activities to stimulate thinking, speech and memory.
Initially it was a 7 week course but the programme is flexible and has the scope to be varied so that the groups can run ongoing. Carers also have the opportunity to meet each other and obtain advice.
In most cases, fronto-temporal dementia leads to complete loss of speech. However, it is said that CST can slow the decline of the condition. One group that has been successful is called Cognitive Help And Therapy (CHAT) and they hold regular classes in Horsham.
Alzheimer’s Research UK provide online information about CST via:
Dementia UK offer training courses in the treatment via:
Singing For The Brain:
Emeritus Professor David Smith, founder-director of Optima, the University of Oxford’s dementia research project has previously said that.
‘The Alzheimer’s Society should adopt CST in the form that has been validated by trials and should not cherry-pick. The papers the UCL group has published show that CST is worthwhile in those with mild dementia and about as successful as current drug treatments.
For more information on Cognitive Stimulation Therapy please click on: http://www.cstdementia.com/