Training working memory updating in Parkinson’s disease: A randomised controlled trial

Daniel Fellman, Juha Salmitaival, Liisa Ritakallio, Ulla Ellfolk, Juha O. Rinne, Matti Laine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Frontostriatal dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease (PD) increases the risk for working memory (WM) impairment and depression, calling for counteractive measures. Computerised cognitive rehabilitation is a promising option, but targeted training protocols are lacking and lab-based training can be demanding due to the repeated visits. This study tested the feasibility and efficacy of home-based computerised training targeting mainly WM updating in PD. Fifty-two cognitively well-preserved PD patients were randomised to a WM training group and an active control group for five weeks of training (three 30-min sessions per week). WM training included three computerised adaptive WM tasks (two updating, one maintenance). The outcomes were examined pre- and post-training with trained and untrained WM tasks, tasks tapping other cognitive domains, and self-ratings of executive functioning and depression. Home-based training was feasible for the patients. The training group improved particularly on the updating training tasks, and showed posttest improvement on untrained WM tasks structurally similar to the trained ones. Moreover, their depression scores decreased compared to the controls. Our study indicates that patients with mild-to-moderate PD can self-administer home-based computerised WM training, and that they yield a similar transfer pattern to untrained WM tasks as has been observed in healthy older adults.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1–36
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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