Massage therapy has been shown to reduce aggression in Alzheimer’s patients, and improve those clients’ quality of life. New research shows that massage reduces aggression and stress levels in dementia patients.

Researchers from Hamamatsu University’s School of Medicine, in Japan, set out to clarify the effects of a six-week tactile massage program on changes in physical and mental function, and symptoms of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia among elderly patients with dementia, according to an abstract published on

A massage group consisting of elderly patients with dementia received tactile massage therapy a total of 30 times each for about 20 minutes each time. A control group did not receive massage.

Chromogranin A (CgA) levels were measured as an index of stress. Both the aggressiveness score and CgA levels “decreased significantly” after six weeks in the tactile massage group, the researchers noted.

“Physical and psychological effects of 6-week tactile massage on elderly patients with severe dementia” is running in the current issue of the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. (2010 Dec; 25(8):680-6.)

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