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Br J Psychiatry. 2017 Jan;210(1):61-66. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.116.182048. Epub 2016 Oct 6.

Adaptive working memory strategy training in early Alzheimer's disease: randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
J. D. Huntley, PhD, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK; A. Hampshire, PhD, Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, London, UK; D. Bor, PhD, Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex, Brighton; A. Owen, PhD, Brain and Mind Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada; R. J. Howard, MD, Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, UK jonathan.huntley@kcl.ac.uk.
2
J. D. Huntley, PhD, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK; A. Hampshire, PhD, Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, London, UK; D. Bor, PhD, Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex, Brighton; A. Owen, PhD, Brain and Mind Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada; R. J. Howard, MD, Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Interventions that improve cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease are urgently required.

AIMS:

To assess whether a novel cognitive training paradigm based on 'chunking' improves working memory and general cognitive function, and is associated with reorganisation of functional activity in prefrontal and parietal cortices (trial registration: ISRCTN43007027).

METHOD:

Thirty patients with mild Alzheimer's disease were randomly allocated to receive 18 sessions of 30 min of either adaptive chunking training or an active control intervention over approximately 8 weeks. Pre- and post-intervention functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans were also conducted.

RESULTS:

Adaptive chunking training led to significant improvements in verbal working memory and untrained clinical measures of general cognitive function. Further, fMRI revealed a bilateral reduction in task-related lateral prefrontal and parietal cortex activation in the training group compared with controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Chunking-based cognitive training is a simple and potentially scalable intervention to improve cognitive function in early Alzheimer's disease.

PMID:
27758836
PMCID:
PMC5209631
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.116.182048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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