Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Cognitive Training Related Abstracts

3 The Evaluation of the Cognitive Training Program for Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Protocol of a Randomized Controlled Study

Authors: Hui-Ling Yang, Kuei-Ru Chou


Background: Studies show that cognitive training can effectively delay cognitive failure. However, there are several gaps in the previous studies of cognitive training in mild cognitive impairment: 1) previous studies enrolled mostly healthy older adults, with few recruiting older adults with cognitive impairment; 2) they also had limited generalizability and lacked long-term follow-up data and measurements of the activities of daily living functional impact. Moreover, only 37% were randomized controlled trials (RCT). 3) Limited cognitive training has been specifically developed for mild cognitive impairment. Objective: This study sought to investigate the changes in cognitive function, activities of daily living and degree of depressive symptoms in older adults with mild cognitive impairment after cognitive training. Methods: This double-blind randomized controlled study has a 2-arm parallel group design. Study subjects are older adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment in residential care facilities. 124 subjects will be randomized by the permuted block randomization, into intervention group (Cognitive training, CT), or active control group (Passive information activities, PIA). Therapeutic adherence, sample attrition rate, medication compliance and adverse events will be monitored during the study period, and missing data analyzed using intent-to-treat analysis (ITT). Results: Training sessions of the CT group are 45 minutes/day, 3 days/week, for 12 weeks (36 sessions each). The training of active control group is the same as CT group (45min/day, 3days/week, for 12 weeks, for a total of 36 sessions). The primary outcome is cognitive function, using the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE); the secondary outcome indicators are: 1) activities of daily living, using the Lawton’s Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) and 2) degree of depressive symptoms, using the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short form (GDS-SF). Latent growth curve modeling will be used in the repeated measures statistical analysis to estimate the trajectory of improvement by examining the rate and pattern of change in cognitive functions, activities of daily living and degree of depressive symptoms for intervention efficacy over time, and the effects will be evaluated immediate post-test, 3 months, 6 months and one year after the last session. Conclusions: We constructed a rigorous CT program adhering to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) reporting guidelines. We expect to determine the improvement in cognitive function, activities of daily living and degree of depressive symptoms of older adults with mild cognitive impairment after using the CT.

Keywords: Cognitive Training, mild cognitive impairment, randomized controlled study

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2 A Prototype of an Information and Communication Technology Based Intervention Tool for Children with Dyslexia

Authors: Rajlakshmi Guha, Sajjad Ansari, Shazia Nasreen, Hirak Banerjee, Jiaul Paik


Dyslexia is a neurocognitive disorder, affecting around fifteen percent of the Indian population. The symptoms include difficulty in reading alphabet, words, and sentences. This can be difficult at the phonemic or recognition level and may further affect lexical structures. Therapeutic intervention of dyslexic children post assessment is generally done by special educators and psychologists through one on one interaction. Considering the large number of children affected and the scarcity of experts, access to care is limited in India. Moreover, unavailability of resources and timely communication with caregivers add on to the problem of proper intervention. With the development of Educational Technology and its use in India, access to information and care has been improved in such a large and diverse country. In this context, this paper proposes an ICT enabled home-based intervention program for dyslexic children which would support the child, and provide an interactive interface between expert, parents, and students. The paper discusses the details of the database design and system layout of the program. Along with, it also highlights the development of different technical aids required to build out personalized android applications for the Indian dyslexic population. These technical aids include speech database creation for children, automatic speech recognition system, serious game development, and color coded fonts. The paper also emphasizes the games developed to assist the dyslexic child on cognitive training primarily for attention, working memory, and spatial reasoning. In addition, it talks about the specific elements of the interactive intervention tool that makes it effective for home based intervention of dyslexia.

Keywords: Intervention, Dyslexia, Cognitive Training, Android applications

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1 Impact of 6-Week Brain Endurance Training on Cognitive and Cycling Performance in Highly Trained Individuals

Authors: W. Staiano, S. Marcora


Introduction: It has been proposed that acute negative effect of mental fatigue (MF) could potentially become a training stimulus for the brain (Brain endurance training (BET)) to adapt and improve its ability to attenuate MF states during sport competitions. Purpose: The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of 6 weeks of BET on cognitive and cycling tests in a group of well-trained subjects. We hypothesised that combination of BET and standard physical training (SPT) would increase cognitive capacity and cycling performance by reducing rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and increase resilience to fatigue more than SPT alone. Methods: In a randomized controlled trial design, 26 well trained participants, after a familiarization session, cycled to exhaustion (TTE) at 80% peak power output (PPO) and, after 90 min rest, at 65% PPO, before and after random allocation to a 6 week BET or active placebo control. Cognitive performance was measured using 30 min of STROOP coloured task performed before cycling performance. During the training, BET group performed a series of cognitive tasks for a total of 30 sessions (5 sessions per week) with duration increasing from 30 to 60 min per session. Placebo engaged in a breathing relaxation training. Both groups were monitored for physical training and were naïve to the purpose of the study. Physiological and perceptual parameters of heart rate, lactate (LA) and RPE were recorded during cycling performances, while subjective workload (NASA TLX scale) was measured during the training. Results: Group (BET vs. Placebo) x Test (Pre-test vs. Post-test) mixed model ANOVA’s revealed significant interaction for performance at 80% PPO (p = .038) or 65% PPO (p = .011). In both tests, groups improved their TTE performance; however, BET group improved significantly more compared to placebo. No significant differences were found for heart rate during the TTE cycling tests. LA did not change significantly at rest in both groups. However, at completion of 65% TTE, it was significantly higher (p = 0.043) in the placebo condition compared to BET. RPE measured at ISO-time in BET was significantly lower (80% PPO, p = 0.041; 65% PPO p= 0.021) compared to placebo. Cognitive results in the STROOP task showed that reaction time in both groups decreased at post-test. However, BET decreased significantly (p = 0.01) more compared to placebo despite no differences accuracy. During training sessions, participants in the BET showed, through NASA TLX questionnaires, constantly significantly higher (p < 0.01) mental demand rates compared to placebo. No significant differences were found for physical demand. Conclusion: The results of this study provide evidences that combining BET and SPT seems to be more effective than SPT alone in increasing cognitive and cycling performance in well trained endurance participants. The cognitive overload produced during the 6-week training of BET can induce a reduction in perception of effort at a specific power, and thus improving cycling performance. Moreover, it provides evidence that including neurocognitive interventions will benefit athletes by increasing their mental resilience, without affecting their physical training load and routine.

Keywords: Cognitive Training, perception of effort, endurance performance, neuro-performance

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