New Cochrane Review on cognitive training for people with dementia

Cognitive training for people with mild to moderate dementia

Bahar-Fuchs A, Martyr A, Goh AMY, Sabates J, Clare L (2019)

Dementia due to Alzheimer’s and other diseases is a leading cause of disability and an enormous health and societal problem. More than 40 million people in the world currently live with dementia, and this number is expected to increase to more than 115 million by the year 2050. Effective treatments to reduce the burden of dementia are urgently needed. Cognitive training (CT) is a non- pharmacological form of treatment that focuses on guided practice on tasks that target specific cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, or problem-solving. Whether CT can help people with mild to moderate dementia maintain or improve their thinking, well- being, and general functioning remains unclear.

This review included data from 33 studies of CT that included a total of approximately 2000 participants and were conducted in 12 countries. The authors found that, compared with receiving usual treatment or engaging in non-specific activities, people completing CT may show some benefits in overall cognition, as well as in more specific cognitive abilities such as verbal fluency, and that improvements may last for at least a few months. They did not find any evidence that participating in CT was associated with increased burden for participants. However, they also found no evidence that CT was better than participating in other active treatments.

Read the review here: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD013069.pub2/