Evid Based Mental Health 6:54 doi:10.1136/ebmh.6.2.54
  • Therapeutics

Cognitive training may improve targeted cognitive functions in older adults

 QUESTION: Do interventions targeting memory, reasoning and cognitive speed affect the mental abilities and everyday activities of older adults?


Randomised controlled trial. Analysts were blind to treatment allocation.


6 cities in the United States; March 1998-December 2001.


2802 older adults recruited from senior housing, community centres, clinics and driver’s licence registries. Mean age 73.6 years (range 65–94); 76% women; 73% white. Exclusion criteria were age under 65 years; not living independently; recent cognitive training; substantial cognitive decline; Alzheimer’s disease; medical conditions with increased risk of functional decline or death, or severe loss of vision, hearing or communicative ability.


Participants received 10 group training sessions in either (1) memory (verbal episodic memory); (2) reasoning (ability to solve problems following a serial pattern); (3) speed …