Procedural learning in individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Number of pages
SourceNeuropsychology Review, 31, 1, (2021), pp. 103-114
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectAll institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Radboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
The notion that procedural learning and memory is spared in Alzheimer's disease (AD) has important implications for interventions aiming to build on intact cognitive functions. However, despite these clinical implications, there are mixed findings in the literature about whether or not procedural learning remains intact. This meta-analysis examines the standard mean difference of all published studies regarding procedural learning in AD dementia or amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI) compared to cognitively healthy older adults. Additionally, we conducted statistical equivalence analyses. Our systematic review showed that only a limited number of studies (k = 17) have compared procedural learning between individuals with aMCI or AD dementia and healthy controls. Our meta-analysis, which synthesized these studies, demonstrated that while procedural learning performance was not statistically equivalent between individuals with aMCI or AD dementia, and healthy older adults, the difference was clinically and statistically trivial. Although larger studies are needed, the present findings suggest that procedural learning does appear to remain spared in aMCI and AD dementia.
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