Results of a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study of Memory Training for Mildly Impaired Alzheimer's Disease Patients

Deborah A. Cahn-Weiner, Paul F. Malloy, George W. Rebok, Brian R. Ott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The efficacy of a memory-training program to improve word-list recall and recognition was evaluated in 34 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). The patients, who were all taking donepezil throughout the 6-week intervention, were randomly assigned to a cognitive intervention group or a control group. The Control group received didactic presentations but no formal memory training. Patients were assessed on neuropsychological tests before the 6-week training program, immediately after the training, and 8 weeks after completion of the training. Caregivers, who were blind to group assignment, completed activities of daily living (ADLs) and everyday memory questionnaires at all three timepoints. No significant main effects of group (training vs. control) or time were observed on any outcome measures, nor were any significant interactions found. In terms of "process" measures during the 6-week training program, the patients demonstrated modest improvement on recall and recognition of test material presented during the training sessions. These results suggest that although modest gains in learning and memory may be evident in AD patients who are taught specific strategies, the benefits do not generalize to other measures of neuropsychological functioning after a brief intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Neuropsychology
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

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Keywords

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Memory training
  • Randomized placebo-controlled

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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