Last updated on March 2019

Interventions to Attenuate Cognitive Decline

Brief description of study

Different cognitive intervention approaches have been developed to attenuate decline (e.g., cognitive engagement, training, or stimulation), but it is not clear which approaches are efficacious. It is also not clear when, along the continuum of normal cognitive aging to mild cognitive impairment (MCI-a transitional stage before dementia onset), it is most efficacious to intervene.

This randomized clinical trial will determine the efficacy of a novel cognitive engagement intervention approach (music training) as compared to cognitive stimulation (which will serve as a stringent, active control). Grounded in theory, the central hypothesis is that interventions enhancing central auditory processing (CAP), a strong, longitudinal predictor of MCI and dementia, will improve cognition.


Detailed Study Description

Music training is increasingly recognized as a feasible means to attenuate age-related cognitive decline. Prior research and preliminary data suggest that intense piano training enhances CAP and is likely more effective than cognitive stimulation. Correlational studies indicate superior CAP, executive function, and other cognitive abilities for adults with formal music training compared to non-musicians.

The specific aims of the study are to examine the efficacy of music training relative to cognitive stimulation (active controls) to improve CAP, cognition, and everyday function among older adults with and without MCI. The efficacy of music training will be established and moderating effects of MCI status will be examined.

The proposed study further aims to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of effective cognitive intervention approaches by exploring mediators of training gains. The proposed study is the first phase II randomized trial of music training to enhance older adults' cognition. Mediation analyses will elucidate the underlying mechanisms of intervention effects.


Clinical Study Identifier: TX218140

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Recruitment Status: Open

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