The effects of cognitive training on individuals with neurodegenerative diseases
Roughly 1 in 8 older adults are affected by neurodegenerative diseases. Can anything be done to mitigate the loss of cognitive function as we age? Research has suggested that various forms of cognitive training may help decrease the cognitive impairment that these people experience. We meta-analyzed 15 studies that used experimental designs to assess the effects of cognitive training on cognitive impairment. Effect sizes were computed from each study, and a weighted average effect size of d = 0.58 was calculated. To further analyze the results, we calculated effect sizes for individuals with Dementia (d = 0.72), Parkinson's Disease (d = 0.50), and those at risk or with a mild cognitive impairment (d = 0.34). We also looked at the method of measuring cognitive impairment, and we found strong effects on memory (d = 0.76) and MMSE (d = 0.73), and moderate effects for attention (d = 0.52).