Open Access Highly Accessed Research

A prospective study of nutrition education and oral nutritional supplementation in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Glaucia AK Pivi1*, Rosimeire V da Silva1, Yara Juliano2, Neil F Novo2, Ivan H Okamoto1, César Q Brant1 and Paulo HF Bertolucci1

Author Affiliations

1 Department Neurology and Neurosurgery, Behaviour Neurology Section, Universidade Federal de São Paulo/UNIFESP-EPM, São Paulo, Brazil

2 Department of Nutrition, Universidade de Santo Amaro/UNISA, São Paulo, Brazil

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Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:98  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-98

Published: 26 September 2011

Abstract

Background

Weight loss in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common clinical manifestation that may have clinical significance.

Objectives

To evaluate if there is a difference between nutrition education and oral nutritional supplementation on nutritional status in patients with AD.

Methods

A randomized, prospective 6-month study which enrolled 90 subjects with probable AD aged 65 years or older divided into 3 groups: Control Group (CG) [n = 27], Education Group (EG) [n = 25], which participated in an education program and Supplementation Group (SG) [n = 26], which received two daily servings of oral nutritional supplementation. Subjects were assessed for anthropometric data (weight, height, BMI, TSF, AC and AMC), biochemical data (total protein, albumin, and total lymphocyte count), CDR (Clinical Dementia Rating), MMSE (Mini-mental state examination), as well as dependence during meals.

Results

The SG showed a significant improvement in the following anthropometric measurements: weight (H calc = 22.12, p =< 0.001), BMI (H calc = 22.12, p =< 0.001), AC (H calc = 12.99, p =< 0.002), and AMC (H calc = 8.67, p =< 0.013) compared to the CG and EG. BMI of the EG was significantly greater compared to the CG. There were significant changes in total protein (H calc = 6.17, p =< 0.046), and total lymphocyte count in the SG compared to the other groups (H cal = 7.94, p = 0.019).

Conclusion

Oral nutritional supplementation is more effective compared to nutrition education in improving nutritional status.

Keywords:
supplementation; nutritional education; Alzheimer's disease