Research / Projects
Repetitive Talking in Alzheimer's disease
We have found that for most mild to moderate stage Alzheimer’s patients, repetitive talk takes the form of recurring questions, stories, or statements with the most common type being questions about events that may occur in the future.
Why study this? From previous research we know that repetitive talk is a problem for many patients and it is very frustrating for caregivers. We have looked at exactly what patients were repeating - what were they asking or talking about. The details we have collected are unmatched in current research and help us to understand what is happening in the brain when patients repeat.
We have learned that many patients repeat questions about past or future events. The brain deals with details about the past differently than information about the future, so we understand that these two types of repetition are not represented by quite the same brain functions. The picture is more complex than previous research suggested.
What’s next? The Geriatric Medicine Research Unit is planning to work with people who care for Alzheimer’s patients, both at home and in long term care facilities. We want to help them understand more about this symptom, about why patients repeat, and what might be the best way to manage it. We also think that we have lot to learn from them.