Attention and Memory Training With Video Games in Old Age

Overview

Neuroplasticity-based approaches seem very promising to maintain cognitive health in older adults and postpone the onset of cognitive-decline and dementia symptoms. The aims of this project are threefold:

1. the evaluation of the effects of a neuroplasticity-based-cognitive randomized computer-based intervention consisting in training with non-action video games on brain and cognitive functions that decline with ageing, including attention and spatial working memory (WM), in older adults using behavioral measures and electrophysiological recordings (event-related potentials -ERPs- and event-related spectral perturbations -ERSPs);

2. the study of the effects of age and 3 months maintenance on the cognitive and neural signatures of transfer effects to attentional and spatial WM tasks; and

3. to investigate the neuroinflammatory mechanisms assessed by non-invasive methods in saliva from participants underlying cognitive training-induced effects.

A better understanding of these mechanisms elucidates pathways that may be targeted in the future, either by behavioral or neuropsychological interventions. To achieve these aims, the investigators will recruit between 60-80 older adults volunteers to participate in the randomized, controlled, single-blind study. After screening, participants will be randomly distributed in one of these two groups: experimental and active control. Participants in the experimental group will receive 16 1 hour computerized training with non-action video games. The active control group will receive 16 1 hour training sessions with a social video game. The design is a mixed factorial design with type of intervention (experimental, active control) and assessment session (pre, post, maintenance). The results from the proposed research project will clarify the existence of transfer-of-benefit and neural mechanisms underlying cognitive improvement. The hypothesis is that mental stimulation through non-action video games will improve attention and memory, promoting brain and mental health, and extending independence among elderly people by avoiding the negative personal and economic consequences of long-term care.

Full Title of Study: “Age-related Cognitive Decline: Effects of Video Game Training on Behavioral and Neuroimaging Measures of Attention and Memory”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Prevention
    • Masking: Single (Participant)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: September 30, 2017

Interventions

  • Behavioral: Experimental: Non-action video game training
    • PSI2013-41409R. Effects of video game training on behavioral and neuroimaging measures of attention and memory
  • Behavioral: Active Comparator: Non-cognitive video game training
    • 16 training sessions with The Sims over 8-10 weeks in small groups

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Non-action video game training
    • Experimental: Non-action video game training 16 1-hour training sessions with 10 non-action video game training selected games from Lumosity.
  • Active Comparator: Non-cognitive video game training
    • Active Control: Non-cognitive social video game training 16 1-hour training sessions with non-cognitive video game training with social games from The Sims.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • STROOP-Negative Priming
    • Time Frame: Change from Baseline Stroop-Negative Priming task at 15 weeks and 30 weeks
    • Participants with non-action video-game training, change from baseline in selective attention and capacity to inhibit information on Stroop-Negative Priming task at 15 weeks and maintenance at 30 weeks
  • ODDBALL
    • Time Frame: Change from Baseline oddball task at 15 weeks and 30 weeks
    • Participants with non-action video-game training, change from baseline in alertness and distraction on Oddball task at 15 weeks and maintenance at 30 weeks
  • N-BACK
    • Time Frame: Change from Baseline N-back task at 15 weeks and 30 weeks
    • Participants with non-action video-game training, change from baseline in working memory on N-back task at 15 weeks and maintenance at 30 weeks
  • CORSI BLOCK
    • Time Frame: Participants with non-action video-game training, change from baseline Corsi block task at 15 weeks and 30 weeks
    • Participants with video-game training, change from baseline in spatial working memory on Corsi block task after at 15 weeks and maintenance at 30 weeks

Secondary Measures

  • Improvement of the performance (accuracy scores) obtained on the non-action video games (experimental group) and the non-cognitive video games (active comparator) comparing accuracy scores of the first to the last training session.
    • Time Frame: Change from the first training session to the last (16th) training session, up to 12 weeks
    • Efficacy of training: Better performance in the trained video games from first to the last training session comparing accuracy scores of the first to the last training session.
  • Level of motivation assessed with a questionnaire
    • Time Frame: Maintenance during the 16 training sessions of non-action cognitive video game training and non-cognitive training at first session, 8th and 16th training sessions. Up to 12 weeks.
    • Maintenance of motivation from the first to the last training sessions

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score 26 or greater
  • Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) score less than 5
  • Independent living
  • Normal or correct to normal vision and hearing

Exclusion Criteria

  • Diagnosis of dementia
  • Planned move from study area
  • Inability to complete study activities
  • Scores lower than inclusion criteria requirements
  • Communication problems.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 55 Years

Maximum Age: 84 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Soledad Ballesteros, Professor – Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Soledad Ballesteros, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Departament of Basic Psychology II, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)

Citations Reporting on Results

Ballesteros S, Mayas J, Ruiz-Marquez E, Prieto A, Toril P, Ponce de Leon L, de Ceballos ML, Reales Avilés JM. Effects of Video Game Training on Behavioral and Electrophysiological Measures of Attention and Memory: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Res Protoc. 2017 Jan 24;6(1):e8. doi: 10.2196/resprot.6570.

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