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Robotic Pet Boosts Mood, Cognition in Adults with Dementia

A senior playing with a robotic pet cat.

Study participants smiled and talked to their robotic pet cats and expressed sentiments such as, the cat is looking at me like someone who listens to me and loves me.

Credit: Florida Atlantic University News Desk

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) researchers studied the effectiveness of interactive robotic pet cats in improving mood, behavior, and cognition in older adults with mild to moderate dementia.

The study involved participants at an adult day center who were informed that their pet was a robot and who interacted with them over the course of 12 visits.

The researchers found that all mood scores improved over time. The biggest improvements were seen in the Observed Emotion Rating Scale and the Cornell Scale of Depression in Dementia.

Over half of participants had higher scores on the Mini Mental State Examination, and higher scores also were reported on the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Mood Scale.

Said FAU's Bryanna Streit LaRose, "Since there is no cure for dementia, our project offers a way to address symptoms naturally and without the use of pharmacological treatments."

From Florida Atlantic University News Desk
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