Cognitive rehabilitation in mild cognitive impairment: A Pilot Study

Elena Farini, Paola Frasson, Giada Caramatti, Eleonora Catricalà, Jubin Abutalebi, Alessandra Marcone, Stefano F. Cappa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Introduction. There is some evidence that cognitive rehabilitation can delay cognitive and functional decline in healthy older adults and person living with Alzheimer.s disease (AD). Persons living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) usually retain a wide range of cognitive capacities, and may thus represent an ideal target for cognitive rehabilitation. Aim. To investigate the effectiveness of a 8-week cognitive rehabilitation program in persons living with MCI. Subjects and methods. The study included an experimental group of 10 subjects (5 with Amnestic MCI -a-MCI- and 5 with amnestic multi-domain MCI -amd-MCI) and a control group of 5 comparable subjects (2 with a-MCI and 3 with amd-MCI). The experimental and control group were matched for Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) score, years of education, age, basic activities of daily living (BADL), and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). The rehabilitation program included a computerized cognitive rehabilitation program, drills with graded levels of difficulty, homework and specific instructions about the use of the strategies in real-life situations. Results. The study outcome measures were the scores on neuropsychological tests as well as the functional status (IADL, BADL), which were assessed prior to enrolment, at the end of the rehabilitation program and after 2 months. In the experimental group the 2 months follow-up assessment revealed no significant differences in neuropsychological tests, except for a significant improvement in phonemic verbal fluency. In contrast, the controls showed a worsening of performance in semantic and phonemic verbal fluency and in IADL at the time of the third evaluation, two months after the end of treatment. One of the trained MCI and 3 out of 5 control subjects progressed to AD during the period of the study. Conclusion. The results of this pilot study suggest that a comprehensive cognitive rehabilitation program may have beneficial effects on cognitive function and functional status in both a-MCI and amd-MCI subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNon-Pharmacological Therapies in Different Types of Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Wide Perspective from Theory to Practice
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781633218789, 9781633218604
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Alzheimer's disease (AD)
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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