Group Intensive Cognitive Activation in Patients with Major or Mild Neurocognitive Disorder

Simonetta Panerai, Domenica Tasca, Sabrina Musso, Valentina Catania, Federica Ruggeri, Alberto Raggi, Stefano Muratore, Giuseppina Prestianni, Cinzia Bonforte, Raffaele Ferri
2016 Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience  
No standard protocols are available for cognitive rehabilitation (CR) in conditions like Major or Mild Neurocognitive disorder (M-NCD or m-NCD, respectively); however, preliminary data seem to indicate that such interventions might have costeffective beneficial effects and are free from side effect or adverse events. Three basic approaches are known: cognitive stimulation (CS), cognitive training (CT), and CR. Objective: Aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a protocol of group
more » ... ve cognitive activation (g-ICA) in patients with both M-NCD and m-NCD; the protocol was specifically arranged in our Research Institute, based on the principles of the central role of the patient and the mediation pedagogy. Subjects and Methods: Sixteen patients with M-NCD and fifteen patients with m-NCD were enrolled, as well as eleven patients with M-NCD who were used as a control group (CG). The intervention was carried-out by a clinical neuropsychologist with daily group sessions over a period of 2 months. Neuropsychological assessment was performed at baseline and after the completion of the rehabilitative intervention. Results: General cognitive functioning, attention, ideomotor praxis and visual memory scores were found to be significantly increased in all patients. Beneficial and significant effects were also found for constructive praxis in M-NCD and for executive functioning in m-NCD. All areas of the language function were significantly ameliorated in m-NCD, while this happened only for verbal repetition and syntax-grammar comprehension in M-NCD. No changes were detected for long-and short-term verbal memory, which were found to be worsened in controls without activation. Conclusion: Our findings seem to indicate that g-ICA might be effective in inducing beneficial changes on the general cognitive functioning and other specific functions in patients with both m-NCD and M-NCD. Moreover, the specific protocol proposed, even if susceptible of important improvement, is easy to carry out within hospital facilities and cost-effective.
doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00034 pmid:26973483 pmcid:PMC4770036 fatcat:d3ns4b7yzngejgsjhq4poufkxq