November 21, 2016
1 min read

Computerized cognitive training improves cognition in dementia

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Recent findings indicated computerized cognitive training improved cognition in older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

“Our research shows that brain training can maintain or even improve cognitive skills among older people at very high risk of cognitive decline — and it’s an inexpensive and safe treatment,” study researcher Amit Lampit, PhD, of the University of Sydney, said in a press release.

To assess efficacy and safety of computerized cognitive training for cognition in older adults, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials of computerized cognitive training in older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

Computerized cognitive training had an overall moderate effect on cognition among adults with mild cognitive impairment (Hedges g = .035; 95% CI, 0.2-0.51).

Researchers found no evidence of publication bias or difference between active and passive-controlled trials.

Computerized cognitive training had small-to-moderate effects on global cognition, attention, working memory, learning, memory, and psychosocial functions including depressive symptoms.

Among adults with dementia, computerized cognitive training had significant effects on overall cognition (Hedges g = 0.26; 95% CI, 0.01-0.52) and visuospatial skills; though these effects were mediated by three trials of virtual reality or Nintendo Wii.

“Taken together, these wide-ranging analyses have provided the necessary evidence to pursue clinical implementation of brain training in the aged-care sector — while continuing research aimed at improving training effectiveness,” Lampit said in the release. – by Amanda Oldt

Disclosure: Lampit reports receiving support from an NHMRC/ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship. Please see the study for a full list of relevant financial disclosures.