A Focus Group on Cognition-Enhancing Medications in Alzheimer Disease: Disparities Between Professionals and Consumers

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Summary:The emergence of cognition-enhancing drugs in the treatment of Alzheimer disease raises questions about quality of lives for those with dementia and for their caregivers, and about the perceptions of health care professionals. This pilot study analyzes a limited data from a series of three focus groups on the experience of treatment. These groups engaged both Alzheimer disease-affected persons, their caregivers, and a multidisciplinary professional core. We conclude that therapeutic goals need to be better addressed with patients and families, as well as better monitored, with the possibility of withdrawing therapy as appropriate. We also detected, as hypothesized, considerable disparity between the perspectives of professionals and consumers regarding the benefits of therapy.

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