Comparing two programs of cognitive training in Alzheimer's disease: A pilot study

  • Farina E
  • Fioravanti R
  • Chiavari L
 et al. 
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Abstract

Objectives – To evaluate the efficacy of two different procedures of individual cognitive training in mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Material and methods – Twenty-two AD patients entered the study. We compared stimulation of procedural memory (group 1) with training of partially spared cognitive functions (group 2). Assessment included: neuropsychological tests, scales, and the Functional Living Skills Assessment (FLSA), a standardized battery built to directly evaluate patients' performance in everyday life. Results – We observed a significant improvement for both groups after training in FLSA total score (P =0.005) and subscales. For group 1, we also found a slightly improved performance in two tests: Attentional Matrices (P =0.041), and Verbal Fluency for Letters (P =0.059). After 3 months, patients' results showed a tendency to regress to the pre-training level. Conclusion – Both AD groups showed a substantial improvement after training in a direct performance measure of everyday functioning. However, results at neuropsychological tests suggest that training activities of daily living (supported by procedural memory) may be more effective than stimulating `residual' cognitive functions.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Functional measures
  • Non-pharmacological treatment
  • Procedural memory

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Authors

  • Simone PomatiASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco - Ospedale Luigi Sacco. Milano (IT)

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  • E. Farina

  • R. Fioravanti

  • L. Chiavari

  • E. Imbornone

  • M. Alberoni

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