All neuropsychological testing and CT exercises were performed at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Brain Research Unit. Informed consent was obtained from individual participants as well as their designated caregiver. All procedures and the collection of data were in accordance with UNBC Research Ethics Board’s policy. Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Neuropsychological testing The neuropsychological test battery (Table 2) took less than 90 min to complete. It was constructed to include all major cognitive domains, be a reasonable time period to administer, and ensure a sufficient range of difficulty (floor
and ceiling effects) for participants experiencing cognitive impairments. In addition, the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (Basak Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical et al. 2008) and the disability assessment for dementia (Cherrier et al. 2001) were also included to provide indices for functions of ability. Table 2 Neuropsychological test administered. Cognitive stimulation training Selleck BMS-907351 Sessions occurred four times per week over a 14-week period, and consisted of approximately two weekly 2-h on-site sessions and two weekly 1-h in-home sessions. On-site testing Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical at UNBC included: (1) navigation task: participants were provided a standard map of the University and asked to find and return from a marked location on the map. Locations were standardized
so each participant went to the same location during the specified training session. (2) Visuomotor training: (a) a commercially available “Plug and Play” “Pac-Man” game was used for VM training. The
rationale for using Pac-Man is that it requires substantial visually guided ability/control to navigate a virtual environment and it automatically Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical increases in difficulty as the individual improves in ability. (3) Visuoconstruction procedures: this training required participants to complete three tasks. These tasks included variations Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical in: block design (WAIS-IV), a correct fold task (Abner et al. 2012), and a mental rotation task (Shepard and Metzler 1988). In-home sessions consisted of workbook activities comprising VS, visuoconstructive, and VM tasks (e.g., “find the differences,” “correct fold tasks,” “mazes,” etc.). Participants were encouraged to engage in these of tasks for a minimum of two weekly sessions of 1 h each week for the duration of the study; 100% compliance was achieved, as measured through weekly tracking sheets. Data analysis Neuropsychological tests Neuropsychological analysis was used to characterize participant’s level of cognitive ability at both pre- and posttraining sessions. The role of this analysis is to track changes in cognitive performance in a population that we would expect to have a progressive decline in overall cognition (Zanetti et al. 1995). Thus, a reduction in cognitive performance would be expected to be observed particularly when the population is tracked over a course of 4–5 months.