Brain News – A study at Université de Montréal defined the previously-unknown number of sessions or “doses” required to prevent cognitive disadvantage in people at high risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The researchers claim that the study effectively contributes towards bettering non-pharmacological treatments in the future.
A study reveals the number of intervention sessions or “doses” necessary to prevent cognitive decline in people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The study, conducted at Université de Montréal, used secondary analysis data from the three–year Multidomain Alzheimer Preventive Trial (MAPT) to determine the relationship between cognitive training dose and cognition. The study also related this interaction with sex, age, education, entry criteria, CAIDE risk score, frailty, and Apoe4 status. A cohort of 749 at-risk participants, receiving randomized multi-domain interventions aimed at preventing cognitive decline, were observed. These included dietary advice (concerning nutrition and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids), physical activity, and cognitive training to improve or maintain physical and cognitive abilities. The study considered people’s individuality in customizing the optimal treatment dose. Two types of models—magnification and reserve models—were used to predict the tenure of the doses.
The findings, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, considered the number of hours of cognitive training attended (max.=28) as a measure of dose. The relationship between the “dose” each participant received and their cognitive improvement was analyzed. The research reveals that 12 to 14 sessions are needed to observe a plateau effect in improved cognition. More sessions did not guarantee better results. Also, participants with lower levels of education or those more at-risk benefitted much from the sessions.
To define the hitherto-unknown frequency of doses in non-pharmacological practices (such as behavioral intervention in AD) has its perks. “Indeed, proposing too few sessions will produce no noticeable improvement effects, but too many sessions is also undesirable as these interventions are costly,” said Dr. Sylvie Belleville, the lead researcher. The study was undertaken with colleagues at the universities of Toulouse and Helsinki.
The identification and target of an optimal number of doses is necessary—especially while devising early behavioral interventions, cost-effective public-health policies, life-style services, and prevention programs. This provides proper guidance (concerning time, money, resources, and involvement) to (geriatric) patients availing treatment and clinicians and agencies offering treatment.
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Belleville, Sylvie & Cloutier, Simon & Mellah, Samira & Willis, Sherry & Vellas, Bruno & Coley, Nicola & Andrieu, Sandrine & Ngandu, Tiia. (2021). When is more better? Modeling the effect of dose on the efficacy of the MAPT multidomain intervention as a function of individual characteristics. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 17. 10.1002/alz.054948.