Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Church ministries seem effective with Alzheimers: Duke University study


ABC World News Tonight has a story Dec. 3, 2008 about a community effort and ministry from the First Baptist Church at Jacksonville NC to counter Alzheimer’s Disease. The news story is by Steve Osunsami, “Church Community Fights Alzheimer's Disease: First Baptist Church Members Embrace Activities to Keep Mind and Heart Healthy”. The link is here. The church, looking modern, is heavily African American with an aging congregation.
The story discusses an emphasis on outdoor group activities and extending social contact and interaction. There is a lot of charismatic singing. Another measure has been learning Spanish or foreign languages. It seems that both structured intellectual activity (like language learning) and connective social activity may help stave off the development of disease. The church has worked with Duke University Medical Center on a five year project, and the program seems to be very successful.

The ABC story has some interesting sublinks to earlier stories, such as to one that babytalk is resisted by Alzheimer’s patients.

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