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Disciplines: Physical Therapy
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Julie D. Ries, PhD, PT
Peer Reviewer(s): Eric Vidoni, PhD, PT
Item#: Q3485
Contents: 1 Course Book (72 pages)
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Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias: Medical Overview and Rehabilitation Management

Price $29.95
Item # Q3485
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Expiration Date: April 9, 2019

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia, accounting for 60% - 80% of all cases. Current estimates suggest that approximately 5 million people in the United States age 65 and older have AD. Because age is the primary risk factor for AD, the number of people with AD is projected to nearly triple by 2050, reaching 13.8 million. The likelihood of rehabilitation professionals treating individuals with AD increases year by year.

This intermediate level course provides useful, pragmatic information to rehabilitation therapists to facilitate successful rehabilitation for individuals with AD. Too often, those with dementia are excluded from rehabilitation opportunities based on the assumption that they will not benefit, or they are given a brief trial of rehabilitation that does not take into consideration the special needs of this population and, as a result, do not make gains. Physical therapists who have limited knowledge of AD and other dementias often manage these individuals within the same theoretical framework and strategies with which they approach their cognitively intact clients, which may result in limited success. Existing evidence shows that the needs of individuals with AD are different than the needs of those without cognitive deficits. Observation of and respect for special considerations related to personal interaction, communication, cueing, and motor learning can substantially impact the success of rehabilitation with this population. Given the prevalence of AD in those over age 65, any rehabilitation professional working with older adults is likely to work with patients with dementia. Physical therapists who address the unique needs of this population will have greater success in their rehabilitation efforts, and their patients will reap the benefits of their knowledge and skill.

This course offers an overview of AD and its medical management, practical information on optimal interactions with individuals with AD, research findings related to motor learning in this population, existing evidence on rehabilitation with individuals with AD, and strategies to facilitate successful outcomes.


California PTs & PTAs – Approved by the Physical Therapy Board of California through Net Education Design, Inc., an agency recognized by the board to approved courses that meet Physical Therapy Regulations 1399.96.

Florida PTs & PTAs – The Florida Board of Physical Therapy accepts this course based on its pre-approval by the Ohio PT Association.

Texas PTs & PTAs - This activity is provided by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners Accredited Provider #1911021TX and meets continuing competence requirements for PT & PTA license renewal in Texas.

Course Objectives


  • Define Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders.
  • Describe the brain changes, stages, etiology, and risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Identify diagnostic methods used with individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Describe pharmacological interventions and domains of care management for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Describe movement disorders associated with Alzheimer’s disease and the principles for facilitating motor learning and optimizing interactions with individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Describe evidence-based rehabilitation interventions for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and appropriate outcome measures.


Julie D. Ries, PhD, PT, is a physical therapist and educator with a special interest in Alzheimer’s disease. She received her BS degree in physical therapy from Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Connecticut, her MA degree in education and human development from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and her PhD in physical therapy with a focus on geriatrics from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Ries is currently associate professor of physical therapy at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Her research related to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease has included the methodological study of outcome measures and the study of the impact of balance training. She has shared her research findings and her passion for rehabilitation through national professional presentations and peer-reviewed publications. She is an active volunteer and speaker for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Eric Vidoni, PhD, PT, is director of outreach, recruitment, and education core for the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center (KU ADC) – a facility that is designated and funded by the National Institute on Aging – and a research assistant professor in the department of neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Vidoni received his BS degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2001. In 2008, he completed both his master’s degree and doctorate in physical therapy as part of a joint curriculum at the University of Kansas. Dr. Vidoni teaches an introductory clinical research course for medical residents and fellows and regularly lectures to physical therapist students on the brain, motor control, aging, and dementia. At KU ADC, Dr. Vidoni organizes dementia-focused educational outreach opportunities for healthcare providers and the public throughout the region.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.