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Cognitive rehabilitation in the elderly: Effects on memory

  • FERGUS I.M. CRAIK (a1) (a2), GORDON WINOCUR (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4), HEATHER PALMER (a1), MALCOLM A. BINNS (a1), MELISSA EDWARDS (a1), KRISTEN BRIDGES (a1), PETER GLAZER (a1), RAYONNE CHAVANNES (a1) and DONALD T. STUSS (a1) (a2) (a5) (a6)...

Abstract

This study reports the effects of a 12-week multimodular cognitive rehabilitation training program on memory performance in two groups of older adults. In the Memory Training module, participants were instructed on the nature of memory and how to improve memory performance; internal and external strategies were described and practiced over the training sessions. Memory performance was assessed by four tests: Alpha Span, Brown-Peterson, Hopkins Verbal Learning Test − Revised (HVLT-R), and Logical Stories. One group received training on entry into the study (Early Training Group, ETG), the other after a 3-month delay (Late Training Group, LTG). The results showed no training-related improvement in working memory (Alpha Span), primary memory (Brown-Peterson, HVLT-R), or recognition memory (HVLT-R). While the most direct analyses of a training effect (analyses of covariance) rarely demonstrated significant effects, exploratory analyses provided some evidence for a training benefit in several measures of secondary memory (Logical Stories; HVLT-R) and strategic processing (Brown-Peterson; Logical Stories; HVLT-R). Positive results were largely restricted to the ETG, possibly because the LTG lost motivation as a consequence of their delayed training. The results need to be treated with caution, but are promising for the rehabilitation of memory functioning in older adults (JINS, 2007, 13, 132–142.)

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Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Fergus I.M. Craik, Ph.D., Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest, 3560 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON M6A 2E1, Canada. E-mail: fcraik@rotman-baycrest.on.ca

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