Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Sandra Glista

Second Advisor

Janet Hahn

Third Advisor

Robin Pollens


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and is known to cause progressive and severely debilitating impairments in cognition, especially in memory. Deficits in memory and cognition are clearly reflected in the communication of people diagnosed with this progressive, degenerative, incurable disease, placing speech-language pathologists as important members of a care team for adults with AD. Speech-language pathologists provide treatment to support memory, and therefore communication, in people with AD through direct and indirect methods. Some examples of memory supportive strategies include spaced-retrieval learning, the use of external memory aids and assistive technology, Montessori methods, and manipulations to the physical and communicative environment. As the number of people with AD in America is projected to triple by 2050, knowledge of these effective memory supports to improve communication and quality of life among people with Alzheimer’s disease is essential. It is important to consider these effective interventions and supports when forming policy regarding access and delivery of health care to older adults, development and management of environments where they reside, and education of their caregivers. This literature review will explore recent evidence-based literature regarding direct and indirect treatment of memory for adults with Alzheimer’s disease, illustrate the relationship between these findings and the development of policy, and relate the significance of these findings relative to the scope of practice and the role of the speech-language pathologist.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access