Cognitive training for dementia.

  • Frank W
  • Konta B
  • 33


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The aim of the HTA report is to evaluate the effectiveness of cognitive training methods to treat cognitive disorders of dementia and other diseases with cognitive deficits. For this purpose, a systematic literature search was carried out first based on the DIMDI superbase retrieval. The identified publications were judged and selected by two independent, methodically competent experts. 33 publications were included in the report.Based on the studies for a normal cognitive development in old age a theory that healthy older people have a considerable capacity reserve for an improved performance in abstract abilities of thinking can be assumed. The first symptoms for older people at risk for dementia are a reduced cognitive capacity reserve. Cognitive training methods therefore focus abilities of abstract memory.APART FROM TYPES OF DEMENTIA ANOTHER TWO GROUPS OF DISEASES WITH COGNITIVE DEFICITS WERE INCLUDED IN THE HTA REPORT: cerebral lesions and schizophrenic psychoses.Studies with mild as well as forms of dementia heavy forms including the Alzheimer disease were included. The described training methods were very heterogeneous with regard to their contents, the temporal sequence and the outcome parameter. The studies were methodically partly contestable. Approximately a third of the studies of all publications could show improvements in the cognitive achievements by the training.Three studies concerning cognitive training methods in case of cerebral lesions were included. All three studies demonstrated a significant improvement in the training group in some outcome parameters.Special cognitive training methods were used for the treatment of cognitive deficits at schizophrenic psychoses. The neurocognitive training (NET), the "Cognitive Remediation Therapy" as well as the strategic training with coaching proved to be effective. The studies, however, were hardly comparable and very heterogeneous in detail.Summarising the cognitive training methods in case of severe dementia by reality orientation training (ROT) show selected success. In case of cerebral lesions in combination with schizophrenic psychoses successes could be proved in some parameters by applied cognitive training.Considering the heterogenity and the methodical deficiencies of the included studies it can be recommended, to carry out coordinated further studies with the goal to identify the success parameters of cognitive training methods and work out the relevant factors of effectiveness.

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  • Wilhelm Frank

  • Brigitte Konta

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