Computerized structured cognitive training in patients affected by early-stage Alzheimer’s disease is feasible and effective: a randomized controlled study

Journal article


Cavallo, M., Hunter, M., van der Hiele, K. and Angilletta, C. 2016. Computerized structured cognitive training in patients affected by early-stage Alzheimer’s disease is feasible and effective: a randomized controlled study. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 31 (8), pp. 868-876. https://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acw072
AuthorsCavallo, M., Hunter, M., van der Hiele, K. and Angilletta, C.
Abstract

Introduction. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) presents with significant neuropsychological deficits. Cognitive training in AD has recently started to demonstrate its efficacy. In this study we implemented computerized cognitive training of a large group of early-stage AD patients, to identify its effects at a neuropsychological level and to investigate whether they were stable after 6 months.
Method. Eighty AD patients were randomized in two groups. Patients in the experimental group used a structured rehabilitative software three times a week for 12 consecutive weeks aimed at training memory, attention, executive function and language skills, whereas patients in the control group underwent a control intervention.

Results. A Repeated Measures General Linear Model considering groups’ performance at the three assessment points (before training, after training, and at the 6-month follow-up) showed a significant interaction effect for: digit span forward (F(2,74) = 2.785, p = 0.03) and backward (F(2,74) = 3.183, p = 0.02), two-syllable words test (F(2,74) = 3.491, p = 0.004), Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test immediate (F(2,74) = 2.877, p = 0.03) and delayed (F(2,74) = 3.783, p = 0.003), Token test (F(2,74) = 4.783, p = 0.001), and Brixton test (F(2,74) = 8.783, p < 0.001). For all of them, experimental group performed better than controls.
Conclusions. Patients in the experimental group showed a significant improvement in various neuropsychological domains, and their achievements were stable after 6 months. This study suggests an useful computerized training in AD, and should prompt further investigations about the generalizability of patients’ acquired skills to more ecologically-oriented tasks.

Year2016
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Journal citation31 (8), pp. 868-876
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN0887-6177
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acw072
Official URLhttp://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acw072
Publication dates
Print24 Nov 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Jan 2017
Accepted11 Aug 2016
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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