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Trials. 2019 Jan 8;20(1):26. doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-3143-0.

Effect of cognitive training on episodic memory retrieval in amnestic mild cognitive impairment patients: study protocol for a clinical randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Medical School of Zhejiang University, No.79 Qingchun Road, Hangzhou, 310003, China.
2
Collaborative Innovation Center for Language Competence, School of Linguistics and Arts, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, 221116, China. zhuzude@163.com.
3
Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Medical School of Zhejiang University, No.79 Qingchun Road, Hangzhou, 310003, China. luobenyan@zju.edu.cn.
4
Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, Hangzhou, 310003, China. luobenyan@zju.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a transition state between asymptomatic stage and dementia. Amnestic MCI (aMCI) patients who mainly present with memory deficits are highly likely to progress to Alzheimer's disease (AD). At present, no broadly effective drug therapy is available to prevent the progression from memory deficit to dementia. Cognitive control training, which has transfer effects on multiple cognitive capacities including memory function in healthy old adults, has not yet been applied to aMCI.

METHODS/DESIGN:

In this single-center, randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study, 70 aMCI patients will be recruited and randomly assigned to the training and control groups. The intervention is an Internet-based cognitive control training program performed for 30 min daily, five days per week, for 12 consecutive weeks. Neuropsychological assessment and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be performed at baseline and outcome. Primary outcomes are changes of episodic memory retrieval function. Secondary outcome measures are neuroplasticity changes measured by functional and structural MRI.

DISCUSSION:

In this study, an Internet-based cognitive control training program is adopted to investigate whether cognitive control training can enhance the retrieval of episodic memory in aMCI patients. The combination of multi-modal MRI and neuropsychological tests could have a good sensitivity in evaluating the effects of cognitive control training and could also uncover the underlying neural underpinning.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03133052 . Registered on 21 April 2017.

KEYWORDS:

Clinical randomized trial; Cognitive control training; MRI; Neural plasticity; aMCI

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