Treating Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia with hypnosis

Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Often, it is assumed that Alzheimer’s and Dementia are the same, however, that is untrue. Dementia is a syndrome that impact the memory, daily activities, and communication (i.e., languages). Alzheimer’s is a type of Dementia that gets worse as it progresses and progresses with age.

Alzheimer’s disease starts in the hippocampus- an important section of the limbic system responsible for long-term memory- that becomes overrun by abnormal protein fragments known as plaques and tangles. Although, amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles aren’t the only cause of Alzheimer’s they are the cause of killing the brain cells that give us the stages of this disease.

Using Hypnosis to Reduce Dementia

Concentration, relaxation, motivation, socialization, short-term memory, daily living activities, and significant memory of events. These are seven focals that improved during a 2007 hypnosis study done by Dr. Daniel Nightingale and Dr. Simon Duff. Their studies were taken from two care homes and separated into three groups; hypnosis group (HG), discussion group (DG), and the treatment-as-usual group (TG).

Before starting any of the hypnosis, the individuals received a consultation so their hypnosis was given to accommodate them in a way they understood. The patients were visited once a week for nine months in either their residence or nursing home for one hour.

As known by many, hypnosis is a state of relaxation in the mind and the body follows. This helps the patient relax enough to be able to focus on staying out of the depressive stages in Dementia as much as possible. Keeping out of depression means the patient can focus on motivation which in turn improves socialization and daily activities.

When it comes to helping with memory loss, the hypnotist must focus on combing through the cognitive modes and the context of the situation. Dealing with the cognitive modes is to deal with how memory is stored for that particular individual; auditory, visual, sensory, written. The more improved this becomes, the better the memory becomes as it will last longer. Even the smallest improvement counts for a person with Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

In the end, hypnosis doesn’t cure Dementia or Alzheimer’s, but some studies have shown it can reduce the stages or effects it has on the person. Keeping any individual in a less depressive state is one of the more important parts of this as depression can lead to negativity in all directions and do more harm than someone who is motivated and positive. Ultimately, hypnosis brings that motivation to light and helps Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients live as happy and healthier as they can be.


Duff S., Nightingale D. Alternative approaches to supporting individuals with dementia: enhancing quality of life with hypnosis. Alzheimer’s Care Today.2007;8(4):321-331.


Melvin S. Marsh is a certified hypnotherapist serving Atlanta GA, Aiken SC, Augusta GA, Blairsville GA, and Cary NC.  He performs hypnotherapy appointments both in person and worldwide virtually. He can be reached at . Any client with a neurological condition, he asks for a referral from their neurologist.