Neurologia Napoli
Istituto specializzato nella cura e nella diagnosi di patologie a carico del sistema nervoso

Ultime novità

Effects of cognitive training in subjects with mild cognitive impairment & over dementia

Background and aim

In the recent years a great deal of attention addressed the usefulness of cognitive trainings in subjects suffering from dementia. Although some studies report positive effects of these interventions, metanalyses show inconclusive data concerning the real impact of training on cognitive and functional outcome. Many factors may contribute to these findings, namely, the sample size, the setting, the duration and type of intervention, and the type of dementia. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a long-lasting cognitive training on subjects at different staging of cognitive impairment.

Subjects One hundred and fifty-five subjects (87 women; mean age 65.7 years) suffering from mild or overt cognitive impairment have been recruited. Fifty-six of them underwent cognitive training (31 women; mean age 63,2 years; group 1) and ninty-nine were assigned to the waiting list (56 women; mean age 67,7 years; group 2). According to the neuropsychological tests they were allocated into three different groups: mild cognitive impairment (MCI; 22 group 1; 34 group 2), severe cognitive impairment (sMCI; 19 group 1; 30 group 2), overt dementia (OD; 15 group 1; 35 group 2). To support the diagnoses all subjects received the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Mental Deterioration Battery (MDB).

Procedures: Cognitive training (Software ERICA) consisted of a 60 minutes session, three times a week, over a period between six months and two years.

Results: A significant effect of the training was found in all three groups and for both MMSE and MBD (p<0.001). In group 1 the cognitive status as measured by clinical examination and test scores improved the most in MCI subjects and the least in OD while in group 2 all these variables slightly decreased.


Results from the present study show that cognitive training is effective in subjects with MCI with less effect on patients with overt dementia. The beneficial effects of cognitive training would encourage clinicians to pay attention to a timely diagnosis of cognitive impairment and when possible to include it in the therapeutical work flow.



Sebastiano Vaia (1), Alessandro Giuliani (2), Carlo Strube, Enrica Cortile, Sandro Gentile (1), Ersilia Satta, Rosario Falcone (3) Marco Pagani (3), Alessandro Iavarone (4)

1. Nefrocenter research, Naples, Italy

2. Environment and Health Department Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

3. Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, CNR, Rome, Italy

4. Neurological and Stroke Unit, CTO Hospital, AORN “Ospedali dei Colli”, Naples, Italy