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  • Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Volume 18, Issue 4
  • July 2012, pp. 669-677

ACTIVE Cognitive Training and Rates of Incident Dementia

  • Frederick W. Unverzagt (a1), Lin T. Guey (a2), Richard N. Jones (a3), Michael Marsiske (a4), Jonathan W. King (a5), Virginia G. Wadley (a6), Michael Crowe (a7), George W. Rebok (a8) and Sharon L. Tennstedt (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2012

Systematic cognitive training produces long-term improvement in cognitive function and less difficulty in performing activities of daily living. We examined whether cognitive training was associated with reduced rate of incident dementia. Participants were from the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study (n = 2,802). Incident dementia was defined using a combination of interview- and performance-based methods. Survival analysis was used to determine if ACTIVE treatment affected the rate of incident dementia during 5 years of follow-up. A total of 189 participants met criteria for incident dementia. Baseline factors predictive of incident dementia were older age, male gender, African American race, fewer years of education, relationship other than married, no alcohol use, worse MMSE, worse SF-36 physical functioning, higher depressive symptomatology, diabetes, and stroke (all p < .05). A multivariable model with significant predictors of incident dementia and training group revealed that cognitive training was not associated with a lower rate of incident dementia. Cognitive training did not affect rates of incident dementia after 5 years of follow-up. Longer follow-up or enhanced training may be needed to fully explore the preventive capacity of cognitive training in forestalling onset of dementia. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–9)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Frederick W. Unverzagt, Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1111 W. 10th Street, Suite PB 218A, Indianapolis, IN 46202. E-mail:
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