Randomized controlled trial of a healthy brain ageing cognitive training program: effects on memory, mood, and sleep

Keri Diamond, Loren Mowszowski, Nicole Cockayne, Louisa Norrie, Matthew Paradise, Daniel F. Hermens, Simon J G Lewis, Ian B. Hickie, Sharon L. Naismith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Background: With the rise in the ageing population and absence of a cure for dementia, cost-effective prevention strategies for those 'at risk' of dementia including those with depression and/or mild cognitive impairment are urgently required.

Objective: This study evaluated the efficacy of a multifaceted Healthy Brain Ageing Cognitive Training (HBA-CT) program for older adults 'at risk' of dementia.

Methods: Using a single-blinded design, 64 participants (mean age = 66.5 years, SD = 8.6) were randomized to an immediate treatment (HBA-CT) or treatment-as-usual control arm. The HBA-CT intervention was conducted twice-weekly for seven weeks and comprised group-based psychoeducation about cognitive strategies and modifiable lifestyle factors pertaining to healthy brain ageing, and computerized cognitive training.

Results: In comparison to the treatment-as-usual control arm, the HBA-CT program was associated with improvements in verbal memory (p = 0.03), self-reported memory (p = 0.03), mood (p = 0.01), and sleep (p = 0.01). While the improvements in memory (p = 0.03) and sleep (p = 0.02) remained after controlling for improvements in mood, only a trend in verbal memory improvement was apparent after controlling for sleep.

Conclusion: The HBA-CT program improves cognitive, mood, and sleep functions in older adults 'at risk' of dementia, and therefore offers promise as a secondary prevention strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of depression in Alzheimer's disease
EditorsGwenn S. Smith
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781614995425
ISBN (Print)9781614995418
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Alzheimer's disease
ISSN (Print)2210-5727
ISSN (Electronic)2210-5735


  • depression
  • memory
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • neuropsychology
  • sleep disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Memory
  • Depression
  • Neuropsychology


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