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Adaptive working memory strategy training in early Alzheimer's disease: Randomised controlled trial

  • J. D. Huntley (a1), A. Hampshire (a2), D. Bor (a3), A. Owen (a4) and R. J. Howard (a5)...
Abstract
Background

Interventions that improve cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease are urgently required.

Aims

To assess whether a novel cognitive training paradigm based on ‘chunking’ improves working memory and general cognitive function, and is associated with reorganisation of functional activity in prefrontal and parietal cortices (trial registration: ISRCTN43007027).

Method

Thirty patients with mild Alzheimer's disease were randomly allocated to receive 18 sessions of 30 min of either adaptive chunking training or an active control intervention over approximately 8 weeks. Pre- and post-intervention functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans were also conducted.

Results

Adaptive chunking training led to significant improvements in verbal working memory and untrained clinical measures of general cognitive function. Further, fMRI revealed a bilateral reduction in task-related lateral prefrontal and parietal cortex activation in the training group compared with controls.

Conclusions

Chunking-based cognitive training is a simple and potentially scalable intervention to improve cognitive function in early Alzheimer's disease.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.
Corresponding author
J. D. Huntley, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Email: jonathan.huntley@kcl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Adaptive working memory strategy training in early Alzheimer's disease: Randomised controlled trial

  • J. D. Huntley (a1), A. Hampshire (a2), D. Bor (a3), A. Owen (a4) and R. J. Howard (a5)...
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