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

Cavallo, M., Hunter, E., 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. ISSN 0887-6177.

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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.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0512 Psychopathology. Mental disorders > RC0521 Dementia
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Mrs Kathy Chaney
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 16:40
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2017 05:34
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/15362

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00