Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | Depression | Dementia | mood | upbeat | Alzheimers

Does Dementia Have a Silver Lining?

Does Dementia Have a Silver Lining?
(Copyright Fotolia)

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:05 PM

While it’s generally assumed a diagnosis of dementia brings with it depression, a new study of patients with mild or early disease indicates their mood isn't as bleak as expected.

University of Kentucky researchers asked 48 men and women with early dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) a series of questions about their quality of life and personal outlook post-diagnosis.

Called the Silver Lining Questionnaire (SLQ), the instrument measures the extent to which people believe their illness has had a positive benefit in areas such as: improved personal relationships, greater appreciation for life, positive influence on others, personal inner strength and changes in life philosophy.

The SLQ has been administered previously to patients with cancer diagnoses, but hadn't been given to MCI/dementia patients. In this study, however, almost 50 percent of the respondents responded with positive scores.

Positive responses were even higher on certain scores, such as:
• appreciation and acceptance of life
• less concern about failure
• self-reflection, tolerance of others, and courage to face problems in life
• strengthened relationships and new opportunities to meet people.

“The common stereotype for this type of diagnosis is depression, denial, and despair. However, this study –while small – suggests that positive changes in attitude are as common as negative ones,” says Dr. Gregory Jicha, the study's lead author, who presented the study data at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto on Monday.

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It's usually assumed that people who are diagnosed with dementia will be depressed, but this study finds much the opposite.
Dementia, mood, upbeat, Alzheimers
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2016-05-26
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:05 PM
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