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Effects of brain training on brain blood flow (The Cognition and Flow Study-CogFlowS): protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial of cognitive training in dementia.

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posted on 2019-06-06, 09:15 authored by L Beishon, R Evley, RB Panerai, H Subramaniam, E Mukaetova-Ladinska, T Robinson, V Haunton
INTRODUCTION: Cognitive training is an emerging non-pharmacological treatment to improve cognitive and physical function in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer's disease (AD). Abnormal brain blood flow is a key process in the development of cognitive decline. However, no studies have explored the effects of cognitive training on brain blood flow in dementia. The primary aim of this study is to assess the feasibility for a large-scale, randomised controlled trial of cognitive training in healthy older adults (HC), MCI and early AD. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study will recruit 60 participants, in three subgroups of 20 (MCI, HC, AD), from primary, secondary and community services. Participants will be randomised to a 12-week computerised cognitive training programme (five × 30 min sessions per week), or waiting-list control. Participants will undergo baseline and follow-up assessments of: mood, cognition, quality of life and activities of daily living. Cerebral blood flow will be measured at rest and during task activation (pretraining and post-training) by bilateral transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, alongside heart rate (3-lead ECG), end-tidal CO2 (capnography) and beat-to-beat blood pressure (Finometer). Participants will be offered to join a focus group or semistructured interview to explore barriers and facilitators to cognitive training in patients with dementia. Qualitative data will be analysed using framework analysis, and data will be integrated using mixed methods matrices. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Bradford Leeds Research Ethics committee awarded a favourable opinion (18/YH/0396). Results of the study will be published in peer-reviewed journals, and presented at national and international conferences on ageing and dementia. TRIALS REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03656107; Pre-results.


This study was reviewed and funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, and LB is a Dunhill research training fellow (RTF1806\27). TR is an NIHR Senior Investigator. This funding source had and will not have a role in the design, conduct, analyses, interpretation of the data or decision to submit results. The cognitive training programme is being provided by Lumosity free of charge, as part of an industry-institution collaboration through the Human Cognition Project. Lumosity is providing advice and support on the composition and nature of the programme. However, this study is financially independent of Lumosity, and Lumosity cannot influence or change the results or outcomes of this study.



BMJ Open 2019;9:e027817

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/School of Medicine/Department of Cardiovascular Sciences


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