24 February 2015 : Review article
Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:585-597
The aim of this study is to present the available and verified methods of prevention of cognitive decline in healthy older adults and to review clinical trials of therapies to improve impaired cognitive performance. We discuss data about the actual possibility of pharmacological treatment, usefulness of physical exercises, and effectiveness of different cognitive training methods. In a separate chapter we discuss why older people cope much better in life challenges then it would appear from the measurements made by use of neuro-psychological tests. We also discuss the so-called issue of transfers, ie, the question of how certain cognitive characteristics, improved through cognitive training, are transferred to other mental skills. We distinguish between simple and sophisticated (usually computerized) forms of cognitive training and pay particular attention to methods that are simple and easy to use. In particular, we discuss the so-called “learning therapy”, which amounts to “reading aloud and simple arithmetic calculations”, the method based on “switching between words and imagination”, and also the method consisting of personal counseling, support, and assistance in learning, especially in the form of home visits. In the final chapter we formulate practical advice, not only for individuals who want to undertake the preventing or correction activities alone with eventual help of medical professionals, but also for the members of health institutions that wish to implement preventive and therapeutic actions directed to a chosen population. We also discuss the indications and rationale for further research and clinical trials.
Keywords: Cognition Disorders - therapy, Cognition, Mild Cognitive Impairment - therapy, Neuropsychological Tests, Practice Guidelines as Topic
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