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Explicit memory training leads to improved memory for face–name pairs in patients with mild cognitive impairment: Results of a pilot investigation

  • BENJAMIN M. HAMPSTEAD (a1) (a2), K. SATHIAN (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4), ANNA BACON MOORE (a1) (a2), CARRIE NALISNICK (a1) (a3) and ANTHONY Y. STRINGER (a2) (a4)...

Abstract

Relatively few studies have examined the use of cognitive rehabilitation in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), largely due to the assumption that training will not improve functioning in patients with progressive conditions. Face-name association, an ecologically valid task, is both dependent on the explicit memory system and difficult for MCI patients. During three hour-long sessions, eight patients diagnosed with MCI were trained in the use of explicit memory strategies with 45 face-name pairs. For each pair, they were taught to visually identify a facial feature, link a phonological cue to that feature, and recall the associated name. There was significant improvement in recognition accuracy, along with faster reaction times, for trained face-name pairs. Improved accuracy persisted when tested one month after training. Significant, but less, improvement was also found on untrained stimuli, raising the possibility of generalization of training strategies. Preliminary results suggest strategy-based cognitive rehabilitation may be beneficial in patients with MCI, though these results must be replicated with a control group to rule out practice effects. (JINS, 2008, 14, 883–889.)

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Benjamin M. Hampstead, Emory University, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1441 Clifton Road NE, Room 150, Atlanta, GA 30322. E-mail: bhampst@emory.edu

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