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Using the African Neuropsychology Battery (ANB), we seek to develop normative data by examining the demographic effects for two learning process scores: initial learning (Trial One) and learning ratio (LR, the percentage of items learned relative of to-be-learned material following Trial 1).
Healthy participants from the Democratic Republic of Congo completed the four memory tests of the ANB: the African Story Memory Test (ASMT), African List Memory Test (ALMT), African Visuospatial Memory Test (AVMT), and African Contextual Visuospatial Memory Test (ACVMT). We developed indices of learning for each subtest, as well as aggregate learning indices for Trial 1 and LR, and composite indices examining verbal, visual, contextual, and noncontextual learning, and grand indices comprising all four subtests.
Trial 1 and LR scores each demonstrated acceptable intercorrelations across memory tests. We present normative data for Trial 1 and LR by age and education.
These data provide normative standards for evaluating learning in Sub-Saharan Africa.
To lay out the argument that exercise impacts neurobiological targets common to both mood and cognitive functioning, and thus more research should be conducted on its use as an alternative or adjunctive treatment for cognitive impairment in late-life depression (LLD).
This narrative review summarizes the literature on cognitive impairment in LLD, describes the structural and functional brain changes and neurochemical changes that are linked to both cognitive impairment and mood disruption, and explains how exercise targets these same neurobiological changes and can thus provide an alternative or adjunctive treatment for cognitive impairment in LLD.
Cognitive impairment is common in LLD and predicts recurrence of depression, poor response to antidepressant treatment, and overall disability. Traditional depression treatment with medication, psychotherapy, or both, is not effective in fully reversing cognitive impairment for most depressed older adults. Physical exercise is an ideal treatment candidate based on evidence that it 1) is an effective treatment for depression, 2) enhances cognitive functioning in normal aging and in other patient populations, and 3) targets many of the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie mood and cognitive functioning. Results of the limited existing clinical trials of exercise for cognitive impairment in depression are mixed but overall support this contention.
Although limited, existing evidence suggests exercise may be a viable alternative or adjunctive treatment to address cognitive impairment in LLD, and thus more research in this area is warranted. Moving forward, additional research is needed in large, diverse samples to translate the growing research findings into clinical practice.
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