Effectiveness of Computerized Cognitive Training by VIRTRAEL on Memory and Executive Function in Older People: A Pilot Study
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AuthorRute Pérez, Sandra; Rodríguez Domínguez, Carlos; Vélez Coto, María; Pérez García, Miguel; Caracuel Romero, Alfonso
Computerized cognitive trainingTraditional paper-and-pencil cognitive trainingCognitive stimulationOlder adultsAging
Rute-Pérez, S.; Rodríguez-Domínguez, C.; Vélez-Coto, M.; Pérez-García, M.; Caracuel, A. Effectiveness of Computerized Cognitive Training by VIRTRAEL on Memory and Executive Function in Older People: A Pilot Study. Brain Sci. 2023, 13, 684. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040684
SponsorshipProject (TIC-6600) from the Ministry of Innovation of the Regional Government of Andalusia in Spain
The prevalence of people over 60 years of age with cognitive impairment has increased in recent decades. As a consequence, numerous computerized cognitive trainings (CCT) have been developed. This pilot study aimed to determine the effectiveness of the CCT with VIRTRAEL in improving older adults’ cognition. Fifty-five participants (x = 72.7 years; SD = 6.5) underwent CCT, and twenty participants (x = 76.1 years; SD = 7.6) received face-to-face cognitive stimulation with a paper-and-pencil methodology. Both trainings were conducted in nine sessions (45–60 min each). Participants completed a pre-post training neuropsychological assessment. ANCOVAs and the standardized clinical change were performed. VIRTRAEL’s group showed a significant and greater improvement in verbal learning (p < 0.006) and delayed recall (p 0.001), working memory (p < 0.005), abstract (p < 0.002) and semantic reasoning (p < 0.015), and planning (p < 0.021). Additionally, more large clinical changes (d > 0.8) were found in the VIRTRAEL condition (in verbal learning and delayed free and cued recall) than in the standard group. Here we show that the CCT with VIRTRAEL is effective in improving cognitive function in older adults and is superior to the standard format. These preliminary findings indicate that CCT is a useful tool potentially applicable in the fight against cognitive symptomatology associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases. VIRTRAEL represents a breakthrough in this field as it is inexpensive and easily accessible to any older person, regardless of whether they live far from health care resources.