Protecting cognition from aging and Alzheimer's disease: a computerized cognitive training combined with reminiscence therapy.Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2016; 31(4):340-8IJ
The aim of this paper was to assess the efficacy of process-based cognitive training (pb-CT) combined with reminiscence therapy (RT) in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (mAD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and in healthy elderly (HE) subjects.
This multicenter, randomized, controlled trial involved 348 participants with mAD, MCI, and HE from four European countries. Participants were randomly assigned to two arms of a crossover design: those in arm A underwent 3 months of computerized pb-CT for memory and executive functions combined with RT and 3 months of rest; those in arm B underwent the reverse. The primary outcome was the effect of the training on memory and executive functions performance. The secondary outcome was the effect of the training on functional abilities in mAD assessed with the instrumental activities of daily living.
We found a significant effect of the training for memory in all three groups on delayed recall of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test and for executive functions in HE on the phonological fluency test. MCI and HE participants maintained these effects at follow-up. MCI and mAD participants also showed a significant effect of the training on the Mini-mental state examination scale. Participants with mAD showed more stable instrumental activities of daily living during the training versus the rest period.
Our results corroborate the positive effect of pb-CT and its maintenance primarily on memory in HE and MCI participants that did not seem to be potentiated by RT. Moreover, our results are very promising for the mAD participants.