Key messages from scientific research that's ready to be acted onGot It, Hide this
Chiu H, Chu H, Tsai J, et al. The effect of cognitive-based training for the healthy older people: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials PLoS One. 2017;12: e0176742.
What is the effect of cognitive-based training on overall cognitive function, memory, attention, executive function, and visual-spatial ability in healthy older people? What characteristics of cognitive-based training are the most effective?
Cognitive functions – memory, attention, executive function (e.g. motor control, problem solving, organization), and visual-spatial ability (e.g. responding to objects in space) – decline as people age, making it harder for older adults to understand and respond to external information and cues. Cognitive-based training, which involves cognitive stimulation, training, and rehabilitation, aims to maintain cognitive functions in older adults, as opposed to teaching them new developmental skills.
This is a meta-analysis of 31 randomized controlled trials published between 2002 and 2015, including a total of 6003 participants.
Healthy older adults who participated in cognitive-based training experienced moderate improvements in overall cognitive function and executive function, as well as a small positive effect on memory, attention and visual-spatial ability. Training for eight or more weeks appeared to enhance attention, while executive function appeared to be boosted by the occurrence of training sessions at three or more times per week and a total number of 24 sessions or more. The majority of the studies were of good methodological quality.
Cognitive-based training can moderately improve overall cognitive function and executive function (24 or more sessions, three or more times per week) in healthy older adults, while also having a small positive effect on memory, attention (training for 8 or more weeks) and visual-spatial ability.