A new frontier in spaced retrieval memory training for persons with Alzheimer's disease

  • Small J
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The objective of this pilot study was to investigate how a memory training technique called "Spaced Retrieval" (SR) might be effectively applied in helping persons with Alzheimer's disease improve their recall of recent events. Capitalising on the interdependence among spared and impaired memory systems, it was hypothesised that SR training with support at encoding and retrieval would facilitate the retention and recall of meaningful recent events. Eight participants with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or related disorder were recruited for this study. The study employed a quasi-experimental multiple baseline treatment design across participants, items, and behaviours. SR training was provided in three domains: Semantic, Prospective, and Episodic recent memory. The results show important training gains made by all participants across conditions at post-training follow-up. In the Episodic condition, participants were able to recall specific details about recent events following training. This study provides preliminary evidence that individuals with mild to severe cognitive impairment can learn and recall new episodic information through Spaced Retrieval training. If replicated, these findings would support the use of Spaced Retrieval as an intervention tool to help individuals maintain their functioning in the area of episodic recent memory.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Episodic
  • Memory
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Prospective
  • Rehabilitation
  • Semantic
  • Spaced Retrieval training

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  • Jeff A. Small

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