Pilot feasibility study of cognitive training exercises for Egyptian adults: Proof of concept

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Heba M. Tawfik
Marianna Tsatali
Hany I Hassanin
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John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Objectives: Cognitive training exercises (CTE) are promising and effective interventions to enhance cognitive reserve and slowdown cognitive deterioration in people with subjective memory impairment (SCI) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In this pilot study, we aimed to assess the feasibility of CTE among Egyptian adults. Methods: Eighteen participants above 40 years old were recruited. They underwent baseline neuropsychological assessment and functional assessment. However, after receiving a 6 weeks' cognitive training, eight participants (seven with MCI and one was cognitively intact) dropped out from the study. Finally, 10 participants (8 participants with MCI, 1 with SCI and 1 was cognitively intact) completed 12 weeks of CTE and undergone the post-assessment afterward. CTE included visual, verbal, memory, executive function, visuospatial, attention, and psychokinetic exercises through onsite and home-based sessions. Results: For the 10 participants who completed 12 weeks of CTE, the Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed a statistically significant change in the scores of mini-mental state examination (Z = -2.546, p = 0.011), semantic fluency test (Z = -2.913, p = 0.004), subjective memory complaint questionnaire (Z = -2.913, p = 0.004), Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Word List (first trial: Z = -2.641, p = 0.008; Word list recall: Z = -2.825, p = 0.005), construction abilities (immediate: Z = -2.121, p = 0.034; delayed recall: Z = -2.414, p = 0.016), and Digit span test (forward: Z = -2.724, p = 0.006; backward: Z = -2.724, p = 0.006). Conclusions: The results of this study suggested that CTE are feasible among Egyptian adults, especially those with MCI, and potentially effective in enhancing global cognition and after 12 weeks of training. Future research should shed light on the efficacy of longitudinal CTE implementation in Arab adults' populations.
Tawfik HM, Tsatali M, Hassanin HI. Pilot feasibility study of cognitive training exercises for Egyptian adults: Proof of concept. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2021 Sep 27;37(1). doi: 10.1002/gps.5624. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34569644.