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Effect of memory impairment on training outcomes in ACTIVE

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 October 2007

Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
New England Research Institutes, Watertown, Massachusetts
Department of Psychology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
National Institute of Nursing Research, Bethesda, Maryland
National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland
Hebrew Senior Life, Boston, Massachusetts
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
Department of Psychology, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama
Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
New England Research Institutes, Watertown, Massachusetts


Cognitive training improves mental abilities in older adults, but the trainability of persons with memory impairment is unclear. We conducted a subgroup analysis of subjects in the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) trial to examine this issue. ACTIVE enrolled 2802 non-demented, community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older and randomly assigned them to one of four groups: Memory training, reasoning training, speed-of-processing training, or no-contact control. For this study, participants were defined as memory-impaired if baseline Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) sum recall score was 1.5 SD or more below predicted AVLT sum recall score from a regression-derived formula using age, education, ethnicity, and vocabulary from all subjects at baseline. Assessments were taken at baseline (BL), post-test, first annual (A1), and second annual (A2) follow-up. One hundred and ninety-three subjects were defined as memory-impaired and 2580 were memory-normal. Training gain as a function memory status (impaired vs. normal) was compared in a mixed effects model. Results indicated that memory-impaired participants failed to benefit from Memory training but did show normal training gains after reasoning and speed training. Memory function appears to mediate response to structured cognitive interventions in older adults. (JINS, 2007, 13, 953–960.)

Research Article
© 2007 The International Neuropsychological Society

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