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Training of executive functions in healthy elderly: Results of a pilot study.

Lima-Silva, Thaís Bento; Fabrício, Aline Teixeira; Silva, Laís Dos Santos Vinholi E; de Oliveira, Glaúcia Martins; da Silva, Wesley Turci; Kissaki, Priscilla Tiemi; da Silva, Anna Pereira Fernandes; Sasahara, Tamiris Fessel; Ordonez, Tiago Nascimento; de Oliveira, Thalita Bianchi; Aramaki, Flávia Ogava; Buriti, Adriana; Yassuda, Mônica Sanches.
Dement Neuropsychol; 6(1): 35-41, 2012.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29213770
Executive functions (EF) refer to the cognitive skills necessary to formulate a goal, plan, execute plans effectively, and to perform self-monitoring and self-correction. Several aspects of EF change during the normal aging process.


To train skills associated with executive functions in the elderly and to detect possible impact on objective EF tests and self-reports of functional status.


A cross-sectional study involving an intervention and pre and post testing was carried out. Study participants included 26 seniors assigned to an experimental group (EG) and given six sessions of cognitive intervention, and 17 seniors assigned to a control group (CG) who completed pre and post testing only. All participants were enrolled in an Open University for the Third Age. The following tests were used to measure


the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), the Story subtest of the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test (RBMT) (versions A and B), semantic verbal fluency fruit category, and verbal fluency with phonological constraints (FAS), WAIS-III Digit Span, Clock Drawing Test (CDT), Trail Making Part A and the Pfeffer Functional Assessment Questionnaire (PFAQ). Delta scores were calculated (post-test score minus pretest score) to assess the impact of the intervention.


In the post test, the CG showed significant improvement on the RBMT Story recall and Digit Span but a decline in verbal fluency. The EG remained stable in terms of pre and post test scores.


The intervention did not enhance performance on the EF tests. It is noteworthy that the EG received only a small number of sessions which may not have been sufficient to generate improvement. Alternatively, the lack of group differences observed could be associated to participation in other workshops offered at the university.
Selo DaSilva