Study 2: Nutrition adapted to Alzheimer's patients

"Finger food": Protibis cookies are enjoyed by people suffering from Alzheimer's disease

There is a good acceptance of Protibis cookies by Alzheimer patients: cookies are distributed for breakfast or afternoon snacks either as finger food or crumbled in a drink in case of swallowing problems.


A study was realized to estimate the utility of Protibis cookies to fight against malnutrition of Alzheimer’s disease patients, as well as the satisfaction of the medical team with this new oral nutritional supplement (ONS). The protocol consisted in distributing 4 Protibis cookies at 4 pm (at snack time), over a period of 4 days, to 40 elderly living in the closed Alzheimer ward in a nursing home. The consumption of other liquid ONS was not a criterion of exclusion.


The results of this study showed that the familiar aspect (they resemble the sugar cookies often consummed when young) of small Protibis cookies pleased the Alzheimer’s disease patients, both immobile and mobile, who could easily nibble them as finger food. It was generally not necessary to encourage the patients to eat cookies, and some of them came to ask for more. The patients liked to dip them in syrup. 
In case of swallowing disorders, Protibis cookies were crumbled and softened in milk at breakfast.


The medical staff in the Alzheimer ward appreciated the ease of utilisation of the cookies which increased patients’ autonomy, the possibility of checking the quantity of cookies actually consummed as well as the absence of waste.


Philip JL. Lutter contre la dénutrition des malades d’Alzheimer, un exemple. La Revue de Gériatrie 2012 ;37 :141-2.


A study on 40 patients has validated the acceptance of Protibis cookies by Alzheimer patients, even with swallowing disorders

Alzheimer patients frequently suffer from involuntary weight loss, and in nursing homes, 30 to 45 % of them are malnourished. Malnutrition worsens with the progress of cognitive troubles, especially in more mobile patients who have increased calorie needs. The oral high protein high energy nutritional supplements help to fight against the malnutrition of Alzheimer patients. However, it is difficult to feed these patients, who lose their ability to use forks and spoons. In a study carried out in nursing homes, Benattar showed that Alzheimer patients enjoyed finger food. They had a preference for small, bi-colored portions, with the option of dipping in a sauce. Protibis cookies are perfectly suitable as finger food, because they are small, easily manipulated by the patients themselves and readily dipped into a drink.


The study was designed for the 40 Alzheimer patients living in the closed Alzheimer unit. Four patients were bedridden invalids and were not included in the study. Every patient received 4 cookies daily and 75 % of the patients 3 cookies or more during snack time (4pm). The nursing staff found that the cookies were appreciated by 92 % of the patients. This was observed even in patients with a deteriorated dental state which did not allow them to have nourishment of a normal texture (78 % of the patients), or patients with oral dryness (25 % of the patients).When it was necessary, cookies were crumbled in coffee with milk at breakfast or dipped into a syrup during the afternoon snack. Only 8 % of the patients suffered from swallowing disorders which raised a problem while eating the cookies. The medical staff found that Protibis cookies were a protein contribution 'practical' or 'very practical' for 89 % of these Alzheimer patients, and 53 % of the patients ate the cookies without encouragement. Some patients came spontaneously to request more cookies. The medical staff noted that the phyical pleasure to eat a solid food had stimulated the appetite of certain patients, and that this effect continued during the 2 days following the end of the cookie distribution.



The familiar aspect of small Protibis cookies pleases Alzheimer patients, who can easily nibble at them, including the mobile patients. It is not often necessary to encourage the patients so that they eat the cookies, and some come to ask for more. Many patients liked dipping them into syrup. In case of swallowing disorders, Protibis cookies can be crumbled and softened in milk at breakfast. The medical staff of the closed Alzheimer unit appreciated the ease of use of Protibis cookies which encouraged patients’ autonomy, the possibility of checking the quantity of cookies actually consummed as well as the absence of waste.



Philip JL. Lutter contre la dénutrition des malades d’Alzheimer, un exemple. La Revue de Gériatrie 2012 ;37 :141-2.

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