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Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2016 Sep 15;2(4):241-249. doi: 10.1016/j.trci.2016.08.004. eCollection 2016 Nov.

Mnemonic strategy training of the elderly at risk for dementia enhances integration of information processing via cross-frequency coupling.

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Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK.
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Center (CUBRIC), School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
Artificial Intelligence and Information Analysis Laboratory, Department of Informatics, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece.
NeuroInformatics Group, Department of Informatics, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Health-IS Lab, Chair of Information Management, Department of Management, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
3rd Department of Neurology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Division of Cognitive and Restorative Neurology, Virtual Reality Medical Center, San Diego, CA, USA.
Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.
University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland.



We sought to identify whether intensive 10-week mobile health mnemonic strategy training (MST) could shift the resting-state brain network more toward cortical-level integration, which has recently been proven to reflect the reorganization of the brain networks compensating the cognitive decline.


One hundred fifty-eight patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were selected and participated in 10-week training lasting 90 min/d of memory training. They benefited from an initial and a follow-up neuropsychological evaluation and resting-state electroencephalography (EEG).


At follow-up, MST revealed an extensive significant training effect that changed the network with an increase of synchronization between parietotemporal and frontal areas; frontalθ-parietalα2 causal strengthening as part of top-down inhibitory control; enhancement of sensorimotor connections in β band; and a general increase of cortical-level integration. More precisely, MST induced gain as an increase of the global cost efficiency (GCE) of the whole cortical network and a neuropsychological performance improvement, which was correlated with it (r = 0.32, P = .0001). The present study unfolded intervention changes based on EEG source activity via novel neuroinformatic tools for revealing intrinsic coupling modes in both amplitude-phase representations and in the mixed spectrospatiotemporal domain.


Further work should identify whether the GCE enhancement of the functional cortical brain networks is a compensation mechanism to the brain network dysfunction or a more permanent neuroplasticity effect.


Augmented reality; Brain plasticity; Cognitive function; Cognitive training; Intrinsic coupling modes; Older adults; Physical activity

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