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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • cognition;
  • cognitive training neuropsychology;
  • cognitive impairment

Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyze the efficacy of a cognitive training program on cognitive performance and quality of life in nondemented Parkinson's disease patients. Participants who met UK Brain Bank diagnosis criteria for Parkinson's disease, with I–III Hoehn & Yahr, aged 50–80, and nondemented (Mini-Mental State Examination ≥ 23) were recruited. Patient's cognitive performance and functional and quality-of-life measures were assessed with standardized neuropsychological tests and scales at baseline and after 4 weeks. Subjects were randomly and blindly allocated by age and premorbid intelligence (Vocabulary, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III) into 2 groups: an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group received 4 weeks of 3 weekly 45-minute sessions using multimedia software and paper-and-pencil cognitive exercises, and the control group received speech therapy. A total of 28 patients were analyzed. Compared with the control group participants (n = 12), the experimental group participants (n = 16) demonstrated improved performance in tests of attention, information processing speed, memory, visuospatial and visuoconstructive abilities, semantic verbal fluency, and executive functions. There were no observable benefits in self-reported quality of life or cognitive difficulties in activities of daily living. We concluded that intensive cognitive training may be a useful tool in the management of cognitive functions in Parkinson's disease. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society