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2007 Grant - Pohl
Effects of Delivery Mode of Cognitive Intervention in Early Alzheimer's Disease
Patricia Pohl, Ph.D.
University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute
Kansas City, Kansas
2007 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
There have been modest but encouraging results from studies of the effectiveness of cognitive training on people with Alzheimer's disease. But most of these studies were based on short bouts of training spread out over many weeks.
Dr. Patricia Pohl, Ph.D., and her team believe that people with Alzheimer's could benefit more from intense cognitive training, based on improvements in similar studies among adults after a stroke. The group will recruit 30 adults with mild Alzheimer's disease and give them six to eight hours of training for 10 days over two weeks. The training program uses computer and paper activities that focuses on memory, planning, attention and visual-spatial processing. The training will be one-on-one and individualized for each person.
Participants will complete a series of tests before and after the training and again two to four months later to gauge improvement. Additionally, a smaller group will have a functional MRI, which will assess brain activity related to the cognitive training.
The program has already been tested with positive results on two adults with Alzheimer's disease. The researchers believe they will find increased brain activity in the participants in areas of the brain involved with verbal learning. If this program proves successful, it may provide a model for helping people with Alzheimer's improve their cognitive function and quality of life.