Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Participants Sought for RT Alzheimer's Research Study

Professor Linda Buettner of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has received a four-year Alzheimer's Association Investigator Initiated Research Award. The title of the research project is "Mentally stimulating activities (MSAs) to treat apathy in early stage AD." Congratulations Linda!!

Professor Buettner is interested in agencies who might wish to have clients from their agencies participate in the study. I believe having your clients take part would be an enriching experience for your clients and an opportunity for you to become involved in a research project. Below is Dr. Buettner's contact information as well as a description of the study provided by Dr. Buettner:

Currently there is no cure for AD, so many individuals require extensive long-term services, often involving costly in-home care and out of home placements when function declines. Apathy is exhibited by up to 90% of those afflicted and contributes to serious problems such as more rapid declines in functional status, executive functioning, social engagement, and physical activity. Additionally, functional decline due to apathy contributes significantly to cost of care and is a major source of caregiver concern. Thus it is important to develop safe, efficacious, and cost effective interventions that maintain function, reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms, and promote quality of life by responding to apathy in the earliest stages. If awareness and engagement can be maintained over time through a scientifically developed mentally stimulating activity based intervention, ADL and IADL function may remain longer, and the period of time for costly care may be compressed.

This project addresses the problem of apathy in early stage AD in a 2-arm clinic trial. Based on our preliminary work, we believe we can reduce symptoms of apathy, related neuropsychiatric behaviors, and improve functional outcomes for community dwelling older adults with early stage AD by using a mentally stimulating activities (MSAs) intervention program. This project will take place in North Carolina and other diverse locations such as senior centers, retirement communities, and a university center for healthy aging and living. This intervention research is significant because it is easy to replicate in senior centers, public recreation settings, and in the homes of older adults with these symptoms. Reduction of apathy, related neuropsychiatric behaviors, and maintenance of function may improve quality of life outcomes over the course of the disease and reduce related care costs.

Linda L. Buettner, Ph.D, LRT, CTRS
Professor Therapeutic Recreation/Gerontology
RTH/Health and Human Performance
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Phone: 336-334-4131
Fax: 336-334-3238


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