Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background : There have been increasing efforts to develop non-pharmacologicalpreventive interventions for cognitive decline experienced by olderadults. Cognitive training via playing games especially ones that aim attraining concentration and speed processing has been shown to havepositive effects on the certain domains of cognition in healthy older adults.Only few studies have directly examined possible cognitive benefits andtransfer effects of playing video game in persons with mild cognitiveimpairment (MCI).Objective : To explore the effects of a video game on cognitive functions in olderadults with MCI.Design : Quasi-experimental studySetting : Dementia Clinic, King Chulalongkorn Memorial HospitalMethods : Twenty volunteers aged 54-74 years fulfilling the MCI diagnostic criteriawere enrolled. The sample was divided into 2 groups (10 members each):the Video game Group, received 6 weeks of speed - attention typevideo game training and Control Group. Cognitive functions wereassessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Battery(CANTAB) before and after training. Data were analyzed usingdescriptive statistics and nonparametric Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney U test.Results : At 6 weeks, the Video game Group had significant improvement inexecutive function in the area of working memory (CANTAB SWM test)compared to Control Group (p < 0.05). The significant within groupeffects of pre- and post training for the Video game group showedimprovement in processing speed and executive function test outcomesof problem solving and visual learning tasks (CANTAB OTS and PAL).Conclusions : The result indicated that there is a possibility which the elderly with MCIcould improve executive functions in short term training. Althoughthe present study is limited by small sample sizes, nevertheless,the results are promising for the further investigation and developmentof cognitive-specific video games in larger, more diverse samples.


Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

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