Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 421–426

One-year repeated cycles of cognitive training (CT) for Alzheimer’s disease

Authors

  • Susanna Bergamaschi
    • Department of General PsychologyUniversity of Padua
    • Casa di Cura Figlie di San Camillo
  • Giorgio Arcara
    • I.R.C.C.S. Fondazione Ospedale San Camillo
  • Attilio Calza
    • Casa di Cura Figlie di San Camillo
  • Daniele Villani
    • Casa di Cura Figlie di San Camillo
  • Vasiliki Orgeta
    • UCL, Mental Health Sciences Unit
    • Department of General PsychologyUniversity of Padua
    • Casa di Cura Figlie di San Camillo
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s40520-013-0065-2

Cite this article as:
Bergamaschi, S., Arcara, G., Calza, A. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2013) 25: 421. doi:10.1007/s40520-013-0065-2

Abstract

Background

Recent research suggests that a combination of both pharmacological and psychosocial treatments targeting cognitive functions improves cognition in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a 1-year cognitive training (CT) by comparing the cognitive performance of 16 patients with AD treated with CT and cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) (experimental group) with the performance of 16 patients treated with a non-specific cognitive treatment and ChEIs (control group).

Methods

This study was a single-blind randomized controlled trial. The patients in the experimental group received pharmacological treatment and repeated cycles of CT for 1 year, whereas the control group received pharmacological treatment and repeated cycles of non-specific cognitive exercises. The patients in the two groups were administered a variety of neuropsychological tests measuring several cognitive functions (i.e. memory, language, reasoning, executive function, working memory and apraxia), activities of daily living, and depression.

Results

After 1 year of training, the experimental group scored significantly higher on the Mini Mental State Examination, the Milan Overall Dementia Assessment battery and in other five neuropsychological tests, compared to the control group.

Conclusions

Present results suggest that repeated cycles of CT in patients with AD treated with ChEIs are associated with benefits in several areas of cognitive function.

Keywords

DementiaCognitive impairmentNeuropsychological assessmentNon-pharmacological interventions

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013