International Psychogeriatrics


Cognitive training for persons with mild cognitive impairment

Sylvie Bellevillea1

a1 Research Center, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Canada


Recent randomized control trials and meta-analyses of experimental studies indicate positive effects of non-pharmacological cognitive training on the cognitive function of healthy older adults. Furthermore, a large-scale randomized control trial with older adults, independent at entry, indicated that training delayed their cognitive and functional decline over a five-year follow-up. This supports cognitive training as a potentially efficient method to postpone cognitive decline in persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Most of the research on the effect of cognitive training in MCI has reported increased performance following training on objective measures of memory whereas a minority reported no effect of training on objective cognitive measures. Interestingly, some of the studies that reported a positive effect of cognitive training in persons with MCI have observed large to moderate effect size. However, all of these studies have limited power and few have used long-term follow-ups or functional impact measures. Overall, this review highlights a need for a well-controlled randomized trial to assess the efficacy of cognitive training in MCI. It also raises a number of unresolved issues including proper outcome measures, issues of generalization and choice of intervention format.

(Received February 14 2007)

(Online publication May 09 2007)

(Revised August 20 2007)

(Accepted August 21 2007)

(Online publication October 25 2007)


c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Sylvie Belleville, Research Center, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, 4565 Queen Mary, Montreal, Québec, Canada. Phone: +1 514 340 3540 ext 4779; Fax number: +1 514-340-3548. Email: