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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Apr;28(4):402-9. doi: 10.1002/gps.3838. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

The memory support system for mild cognitive impairment: randomized trial of a cognitive rehabilitation intervention.

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Department of Neorology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have few empirically based treatment options for combating their memory loss. This study sought to examine the efficacy of a calendar/notebook rehabilitation intervention, the memory support system (MSS), for individuals with amnestic MCI.


Forty individuals with single domain amnestic MCI and their program partners were randomized to receive the MSS, either with training or without (controls). Measures of adherence, activities of daily living, and emotional impact were completed at the first and last intervention sessions and again at 8 weeks and 6 months post intervention.


Training in use of a notebook/calendar system significantly improved adherence over those who received the calendars but no training. Functional ability and memory self-efficacy significantly improved for those who received MSS training. Change in functional ability remained significantly better in the intervention group than in the control group out to 8-week follow-up. Care partners in the intervention group demonstrated improved mood by 8-week and 6-month follow-ups, whereas control care partners reported worse caregiver burden by 6-month follow-up.


Memory support system training resulted in improvement in activities of daily living and sense of memory self-efficacy for individuals with MCI. Although activities of daily living benefits were maintained out to 8 weeks post intervention, future inclusion of booster sessions may help extend the therapeutic effect out even further. Improved mood of care partners of trained individuals and worsening sense of caregiver burden over time for partners of untrained individuals further support the efficacy of the MSS for MCI.

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