Effects of Multimodal Episodic Memory Training in a Community-dwelling Elderly Population with Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study on Brain Imaging Outcomes
Keywords:community-dwelling elderly, diffusion tensor imaging, elderly with cognitive impairment, episodic memory training
Background: The cognitive deterioration occurring in normal aging results in the alteration of brain white
matter structure and neuronal connectivity. Thus, cognitive training is beneficial in enhancing the cognitive
functions in elders with cognitive impairment. The diffusion tensor imaging method explores the nature of
the white matter changes occurring during cognitive intervention. This study aimed to examine white matter
integrity parameters in brain-related memory between elderly with cognitive impairment who received
memory training and a non-trained group.
Methods: Twenty participants were recruited for this study, and were assigned into experimental and control
groups. The experimental group received a 36-session multimodal episodic memory training (MEMT) over
a 12-week period. The magnetic resonance imaging scanned the corpus callosum, fornix, cingulum, and
uncinate fasciculus, and then were analyzed using diffusion tensor imaging methods during, before, and
Results: After MEMT training, the white matter integrity indices all targeted brain area demonstrated no
significant differences (p>0.05). However, the FA values of uncinated fasciculus areas showed the tendency
to increase after training.
Conclusion: This finding could indicate the resilient anatomical possibilities of white matter structural
changes after training. Moreover, the DTI technique has possible benefits regarding predicting the
individualized white matter alternation underlying cognitive changes in the elderly.
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