A double-blind randomized controlled trial combining cognitive training (CoRe) and neurostimulation (tDCS) in the early stages of cognitive impairment

Claudia Rodella, Sara Bernini, Silvia Panzarasa, Elena Sinforiani, Marta Picascia, Silvana Quaglini, Elena Cavallini, Tomaso Vecchi, Cristina Tassorelli, Sara Bottiroli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases is expected to increase over the next years, therefore, new methods able to prevent and delay cognitive decline are needed.

AIMS: To evaluate the effectiveness of a combined treatment protocol associating a computerized cognitive training (CoRe) with anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

METHODS: In this randomized controlled trial, 33 patients in the early stage of cognitive impairment were assigned to the experimental group (CoRE + real tDCS) or control group (CoRE + sham tDCS). In each group, the intervention lasted 3 consecutive weeks (4 sessions/week). A neuropsychological assessment was administered at baseline (T0), post-intervention (T1) and 6-months later (T2).

RESULTS: The CoRE + real tDCS group only improved in working memory and attention/processing speed at both T1 and T2. It reported a stable MMSE score at T2, while the CoRE + sham tDCS group worsened. Age, mood, and T0 MMSE score resulted to play a role in predicting treatment effects.

CONCLUSION: Combined multi-domain interventions may contribute to preventing or delaying disease progression.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Trial registration number (ClinicalTrials.gov): NCT04118686.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging Clin. Exp. Res.
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 22 2021

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