Reading aloud and solving simple arithmetic calculation intervention (Learning therapy) improves inhibition, verbal episodic memory, focus attention and processing speed in healthy elderly people: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial

Rui Nouchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Hikaru Takeuchi, Takayuki Nozawa, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Previous reports have described that simple cognitive training using reading aloud and solving simple arithmetic calculations, so-called “learning therapy”, can improve executive functions and processing speed in the older adults. Nevertheless, it is not well-known whether learning therapy improve a wide range of cognitive functions or not. We investigated the beneficial effects of learning therapy on various cognitive functions in healthy older adults. Methods: We used a single-blinded intervention with two groups (learning therapy group: LT and waiting list control group: WL). Sixty-four elderly were randomly assigned to LT or WL. In LT, participants performed reading Japanese aloud and solving simple calculations training tasks for 6 months. WL did not participate in the intervention. We measured several cognitive functions before and after 6 months intervention periods. Results: Compared to WL, results revealed that LT improved inhibition performance in executive functions (Stroop: LT (Mean = 3.88) vs. WL (Mean = 1.22), adjusted p = 0.013 and reverse Stroop LT (Mean = 3.22) vs. WL (Mean = 1.59), adjusted p = 0.015), verbal episodic memory (Logical Memory (LM): LT (Mean = 4.59) vs. WL (Mean = 2.47), adjusted p = 0.015), focus attention (D-CAT: LT (Mean = 2.09) vs. WL (Mean = −0.59), adjusted p = 0.010) and processing speed compared to the WL control group (digit symbol coding: LT (Mean = 5.00) vs. WL (Mean = 1.13), adjusted p = 0.015 and Symbol Search (SS): LT (Mean = 3.47) vs. WL (Mean = 1.81), adjusted p = 0.014). Discussion: This randomized controlled trial (RCT) can be showed the benefit of LT on inhibition of executive functions, verbal episodic memory, focus attention and processing speed in healthy elderly people. Our results were discussed under overlapping hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number217
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume10
Issue numberMAY2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 17

Keywords

  • Cognitive training
  • Learning therapy
  • Reading aloud
  • Simple calculation
  • Transfer effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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