Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2015 Jun 3;30(6):631-8. Epub 2014 Sep 3.
"Golgi Cenci" Foundation, Abbiategrasso, Italy.
Objective: We evaluated the short-term efficacy of a protocol of cognitive stimulation (CS), compared with a sham intervention, on cognitive performance in cognitively healthy individuals with a family history of dementia (NDFAM) and in non-demented individuals with cognitive impairment (CI).
Methods: We performed a randomized controlled trial of CS in NDFAM and CI. CS consisted in 10 twice weekly meetings of CS focused on a specific cognitive area. CS was compared with a sham intervention (CT) using Mini-mental state examination (MMSE), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and the Corsi test. All study participants were typed for the presence of apolipoprotein E (APOE)-Ɛ4.
Results: Cognitively healthy NDFAM showed a higher net cognitive gain after CS, as reflected in their MoCA score, and a borderline significant net increase in visuospatial memory (Corsi test) compared with those receiving the CT. APOE-Ɛ4 carriers showed a less significant improvement on the Corsi test with respect to APOE-Ɛ4 non-carriers. In the CI sample, the MoCA and Corsi test results did not differ between the cognitively stimulated subjects and the controls. No changes in MMSE scores were found in either sample of subjects.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that CS as structured in this study is an effective treatment in cognitively healthy individuals, whereas it is less effective in individuals with CI. Moreover, evaluation of APOE-Ɛ4 status provided evidence of a substantial genetic contribution to the efficacy of CS on visuospatial memory as measured using the Corsi test.