Effects of cognitive training on fall risk and cognitive performance in individuals with mild cognitive impairment

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Cattaleeya Sittichoke
Sirinun Boripuntakul
Puangsoi Worakul
Somporn Sungkarat


Background: Accumulating evidence suggests that older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) not only had cognitive impairment but also fall risk. Cognitive training has been shown to either improve cognitive function or reduce fall risk among older adults with and without cognitive impairment. Only a limited number of studies have investigated the beneficial effects of cognitive training on both cognitive performance and fall risk in older adults with MCI and the findings have been inconclusive.

Objectives: To examine the effectiveness of cognitive training program on fall risk and cognitive performance in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

Materials and methods: Forty older adults with MCI (mean age 68.91±4.25) were randomized into the intervention group (n=20) and control group (n=20). Participants in the intervention group underwent cognitive training program for 60-70 minutes per session, 3 times per week for 12 consecutive weeks. The control group received educational tutorial covering cognitive enhancement and fall prevention strategies. Outcome measures were fall risk including Timed Up and Go test (TUG) single and dual task, Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA), and cognitive performance including, Alzheimer’s disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog), Verbal Paired Associated (VPA)-immediate recall, and Trail Making Tests (TMT). All outcomes were assessed at baseline and the end of the 12-week training.

Results: At the end of 12-week training, participants in the intervention group had significantly better performance on ADAS-cog, VPA-immediate recall, and TUG dual task compared to the control group (p=0.007, p=0.033, and p=0.006 respectively). They also demonstrated significant improvement on TUG single and dual task, ADAS-cog, VPA-immediate recall, and TMT B-A from baseline (p=0.006, p=0.002, p=0.001, p=0.012, and p=0.019 respectively), whereas these improvements were not observed in the control group.

Conclusion: The 12-week cognitive training program has a beneficial effect in improving global cognitive function, memory, and decreasing fall risk while performing functional mobility in concurrent with cognitive task in older adults with MCI. The findings suggest that cognitive training should be considered when designing a fall prevention program for older adults with MCI.


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Sittichoke, C., Boripuntakul, S., Worakul, P., & Sungkarat, S. (2020). Effects of cognitive training on fall risk and cognitive performance in individuals with mild cognitive impairment. Journal of Associated Medical Sciences, 53(3), 92-99. Retrieved from https://he01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/bulletinAMS/article/view/243082
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