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Is Computerized Working Memory Training Effective in Healthy Older Adults?: Evidence from a Multi-Site, Randomized Controlled Trial
Harvard Med Sch, USA.
Harvard Med Sch, USA.
Harvard Med Sch, USA.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology. Karolinska Institutet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0057-0308
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, ISSN 1387-2877, E-ISSN 1875-8908, Vol. 65, no 3, p. 931-949Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Developing effective interventions to attenuate age-related cognitive decline and prevent or delay the onset of dementia are major public health goals. Computerized cognitive training (CCT) has been marketed increasingly to older adults, but its efficacy remains unclear. Working memory (WM), a key determinant of higher order cognitive abilities, is susceptible to age-related decline and a relevant target for CCT in elders. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of CCT focused on WM compared to an active control condition in healthy older adults. Methods: Eighty-two cognitively normal adults from two sites (USA and Sweden) were randomly assigned to Cogmed Adaptive or Non-Adaptive (active control) CCT groups. Training was performed in participants' homes, five days per week over five weeks. Changes in the performance of the Cogmed trained tasks, and in five neuropsychological tests (Trail Making Test Part A and Part B, Digit Symbol, Controlled Oral Word Association Test and Semantic Fluency) were used as outcome measures. Results: The groups were comparable at baseline. The Adaptive group showed robust gains in the trained tasks, and there was a time-by-group interaction for the Digit Symbol test, with significant improvement only after Adaptive training. In addition, the magnitude of the intervention effect was similar at both sites. Conclusion: Home-based CCT Adaptive WM training appears more effective than Non-Adaptive training in older adults from different cultural backgrounds. We present evidence of improvement in trained tasks and on a demanding untrained task dependent upon WM and processing speed. The benefits over the active control group suggest that the Adaptive CCT gains were linked to providing a continuously challenging level of WM difficulty.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOS Press, 2018. Vol. 65, no 3, p. 931-949
Keywords [en]
Aging, computerized cognitive training, randomized controlled trial, working memory
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78427DOI: 10.3233/JAD-180455ISI: 000444339800018PubMedID: 30103334Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053717016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-78427DiVA, id: diva2:1257749
Available from: 2018-10-22 Created: 2018-10-22 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Håkansson, KristerMohammed, Abdul K. H.

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