One in three adults dies with either Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia in the United States alone.
In addition, individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and aggression.
Traditionally, patients are given antidepressants, antipsychotics, or benzodiazepines for treatment. Still, these prescriptions come with their own long list of side effects, too.
That is why scientists at Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing have begun studying the effectiveness of pet therapy.
Pet therapy has been a known therapy for mood stabilization and behavior. But, caring for live pets is not always feasible for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
So, researchers got creative and opted to use interactive robotic pet cats.
Do not worry, though. All of the participants were told that their pet was robotic beforehand. They also got to pick out a name, collar and name tag for their furry friend. The study then took place over twelve visits at a South Florida adult day center.
The study analyzed mood and behavioral changes using the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Mood Scale, the Observed Emotion Rating Scale, and the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia.
And, unlike studies involving traditional pharmacological treatments, this study posed no risk to patients.
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