Cognitive Intervention in Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment
- Benjamin BollerBenjamin BollerResearch Center, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal; Psychology Department, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
- and Sylvie BellevilleSylvie BellevilleResearch Center, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal; Psychology Department, Université de Montréal
Individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) experience cognitive difficulties and many find themselves in a transitional stage between aging and dementia, making this population a suitable target for cognitive intervention. In MCI, not all cognitive functions are impaired and preserved functions can thus be recruited to compensate for the impact of cognitive impairment. Improving cognition may have a tremendous impact on quality of life and help delay the loss of autonomy that comes with dementia. Several studies have reported evidence of cognitive benefits following cognitive intervention in individuals with MCI. Studies that relied on training memory and attentional control have provided the most consistent evidence for cognitive gains. A few studies have investigated the neurophysiological processes by which these training effects occur. More research is needed to draw clear conclusions on the type of brain processes that are engaged in cognitive training and there are insufficient findings regarding transfer to activities of daily life. Results from recent studies using new technologies such as virtual reality provide encouraging evidence of transfer effects to real-life situations.