Principal Investigator: Kevin Duff
Keywords: Memory , Cognitive Training , Mild Cognitive Impairment Department: Neurology
IRB Number: 00076422
Specialty: Neurology, Neurology
Sub Specialties: Dementia,
Recruitment Status: Recruiting

Contact Information

Kevin Duff

Brief Summary

The current proposal seeks to examine the effectiveness of a computerized cognitive training program in individuals with mild cognitive impairments and use practice effects as a means to identify responders.

The specific aims of this project are:

  1.       Examine short- and long-term efficacy of a computerized cognitive training program in older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment. It is hypothesized that individuals in the cognitive training group will show greater cognitive improvement (both immediately after completing the training and after 12 months) compared to individuals in a control group.

  2.       Assess moderating variables of treatment response, including pre-training practice effects, demographic variables, clinical variables, and amount of training. It is hypothesized that larger practice effects will be associated with better outcomes following the training. It is further  hypothesized that younger, better educated, and more cognitively intact subjects will do better following training. Lastly, those subjects that do more training are expected to improve more across time.


Optional Sub-Study:

This project will add a single [18F] Flutemetamol (Vizamyl)-PET/CT scan to an ongoing, IRB-approved study (IRB #00076422, Cognitive training and practice effects) to examine the impact of amyloid burden in the brain on outcomes in individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

The primary objective of this study is to see if the amount of amyloid burden in the brain is related to the cognitive benefit of the training program.

Inclusion Criteria


  1. Classified as Mild Cognitive Impairment (i.e., subjective memory complaints, objective memory deficits, largely intact cognition otherwise, no significant functional impairments), through a clinical diagnosis or a total score of >= 20 and immediate and delayed recall scores of < = 8 on the Modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status
  2. 65 years of age or older
  3. Availability of a collateral source (e.g. spouse, adult child, caregiver) who will be able to comment on the cognitive abilities and daily functioning of the subject
  4. Access to a computer with audio device like speakers or headphones and the internet. This access could be at home, work, community center, or public library.
  5. Adequate vision, hearing, and motor abilities to participate in training. 

Additional inclusion criteria for Optional Sub-Study:

  1. Medicare beneficiary
  2. Able to tolerate [18F] Flutemetamol-PET/CT scan, to be determined by imaging staff

Exclusion Criteria

  1. History of major neurological illness (e.g. stroke, head injury with loss of consciousness of >30 minutes) or other neurological disorder or systemic illness that would likely affect cognition (e.g., seizure disorder, demyelinating disorder, etc.)
  2. Current or past major psychiatric illness (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorders) that would likely affect cognition
  3. History of substance abuse.
  4. Current use of antipsychotic or anticonvulsant medications.
  5. Currently residing in a nursing home or other skilled nursing facility.
  6. Current depression as identified by a score of >=15 on the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale. 

Additional exclusion criteria for Optional Sub-Study:

  1. Evidence of stroke or mass lesion on CT or MRI scan
  2. History of radiation therapy to the brain
  3. Known allergic or hypersensitivity reactions to previously administered radiopharmaceuticals.
  4. Requirement for monitored anesthesia for imaging studies.
  5. Severe claustrophobia
  6. Currently pregnant