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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2006 Nov-Dec;43(3):327-35. Epub 2006 Jan 31.

Outcomes of a computer-based cognitive rehabilitation program on Alzheimer's disease patients compared with those on patients affected by mild cognitive impairment.

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Department of Medicine, S. Anna Hospital, Via del Franzone, 31, I-25127 Brescia, Italy.


The aim of the present study is to evaluate the outcomes of a computer-based cognitive training on patients affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD) compared with the outcomes on patients affected by mild cognitive impairment (MCI), multiple system atrophy (MSA). Ten AD patients aged 74.1+/-5.6 years, with mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score at baseline of 23.9+/-2.4, and 10 MCI patients aged 70.6+/-6.0 years, with MMSE score of 28.0+/-1.4, attending our day-hospital of neurorehabilitation were selected for the study. Three MSA patients aged 69.0+/-9.5 years, MMSE scores 26.7+/-2.3 were selected from the same setting in order to have a different control group. Each patient attended two training programs and was evaluated according to cognitive and non-cognitive functions at baseline at the end of the second training program. The AD group showed a significant MMSE score improvement (p=0.010). On the contrary, MMSE scores at baseline and at follow-up remained quite stable in the other two groups. AD patients also showed significant improvement in the areas of verbal production (p=0.036) and executive functions (p=0.050). MCI patients significantly improved in behavioral memory (p=0.017; p=0.011). No significant improvement was observed in MSA group. Our data seem to indicate that the same individualized rehabilitative intervention could have different effects according to patient's diagnosis. MCI and AD patients had significant improvements in global cognitive status and/or in specific cognitive areas. On the contrary, MSA patients did not benefit at all.

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