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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2013 May-Jun;56(3):442-7. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.11.007. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Memory training (MT) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) generates change in cognitive performance.

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Department of Surgery and Orthopedics, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.



Longevity can be accompanied by several challenges, among them cognitive decline. The early identification of cognitive impairment offers the opportunity to act with the aim of preventing or delaying dementia. One potential intervention measure is MT.


To test the effect of MT in a sample of older individuals previously identified as having MCI.


A randomized controlled clinical trial was carried out. Subjects were recruited by the local media for a memory study and were submitted to a battery of cognitive tests. Subjects meeting inclusion criteria (n=112) were classified as normal controls (n=65) and MCI (n=47), according to Gauthier and Touchon's criteria (Gauthier & Touchon, 2005). The study sample was randomly assigned to three different intervention groups: MT group, educational intervention (EI) group, and control group (CG). The MT group received eight training sessions to learn mnemonic strategies based on ecological tasks. They also completed tasks which recruited attention and executive functions. Educational content on memory and aging was also offered. The EI participated in the same number of sessions, yet, only the educational content was offered. The CG completed pre- and post-test evaluations, and received training afterwards.


Training effects were modest and for certain variables they were equivalent to retest effects. However, after training, individuals with MCI in the MT group exhibited cognitive performance typical of individuals without cognitive impairment, suggesting cognitive plasticity.


MT is a feasible non-pharmacological intervention which might bring positive performance change in older adults facing cognitive impairment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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