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Wedding therapy helping Alzheimer's patients

21st February 2006

A care home in Canada for sufferers of Alzheimer's disease uses a unique approach to encourage patient's memories, known as "wedding reminiscence therapy".

Staff at McConnell Place North in Edmonton, Canada, re-enact wedding days, stimulating memories through the recreation of an entire atmosphere, helping to briefly rekindle old memories.

Although scientists have yet to prove the efficacy of wedding therapy, staff believe that touching, feeling and dancing provide more stimulation than other techniques used, like looking at pictures or listening to music.

Josh Haru reproduced his wedding day 36 years after the original with his wife, who is a patient at the centre, telling CBC News that the experience was "very emotional, very hard to accept, but that's what was to happen".

Scientists at the Université Laval in Canada recently discovered a type of cell which may naturally improve the condition of Alzheimer's patients.

The disease affects around 400,000 people in the UK.