Cognitive Training Using a Novel Memory Game on an iPad in Patients with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI)
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Oxford University Press
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Savulich III, G., Piercy, T., Fox, C., Suckling, J., Rowe, J., O’Brien, J., & Sahakian, B. (2017). Cognitive Training Using a Novel Memory Game on an iPad in Patients with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI). International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology https://doi.org/10.1093/ijnp/pyx040
BACKGROUND: Cognitive training is effective in patients with mild cognitive impairment but does not typically address the motivational deficits associated with older populations with memory difficulties. METHODS: We conducted a randomized controlled trial of cognitive training using a novel memory game on an iPad in 42 patients with a diagnosis of amnestic mild cognitive impairment assigned to either the cognitive training (n=21; 8 hours of gameplay over 4 weeks) or control (n=21; clinic visits as usual) groups. RESULTS: Significant time-by-pattern-by-group interactions were found for cognitive performance in terms of the number of errors made and trials needed on the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Paired Associates Learning task (P=.044; P=.027). Significant time-by-group interactions were also found for the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Paired Associates Learning first trial memory score (P=.002), Mini-Mental State Examination (P=.036), the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test (P=.032), and the Apathy Evaluation Scale (P=.026). Within-group comparisons revealed highly specific effects of cognitive training on episodic memory. The cognitive training group maintained high levels of enjoyment and motivation to continue after each hour of gameplay, with self-confidence and self-rated memory ability improving over time. CONCLUSIONS: Episodic memory robustly improved in the cognitive training group. “Gamified” cognitive training may also enhance visuospatial abilities in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Gamification maximizes engagement with cognitive training by increasing motivation and could complement pharmacological treatments for amnestic mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease. Larger, more controlled trials are needed to replicate and extend these findings.
mild cognitive impairment, episodic memory, paired associates learning, cognitive training, motivation
This work was supported by a grant from Janssen Pharmaceutica/Johnson & Johnson (71418) awarded to Barbara J. Sahakian and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (Neurodegeneration; Mental Health), Cambridge. James B. Rowe is supported by the Wellcome Trust (103838). George Savulich is currently funded by a grant from Eton College and the Wallitt Foundation.
WELLCOME TRUST (103838/Z/14/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_U105597119)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ijnp/pyx040
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/265172
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