Promoting healthy aging via neurocognitive empowerment: electrophysiological and neuropsychological outcomes of an intensive intervention protocol

Davide Crivelli, Michela Balconi, Maria Teresa Angelillo, Monica Zanca

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

Background: Besides being characterized by increased psycho-physical frailty, physiological aging is also a dynamic process that shows potential for adaptive modifications of neural and cognitive processes [1]. Such opportunities to strengthen cognitive functioning can be fostered via empowerment protocols. In particular, given their crucial role in everyday activities and in successful aging, prefrontal executive functions and their neural substrates may be a critical target for cognitive and neurocognitive interventions based on non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) [2]. Materials and Methods: In order to investigate the potential of intensive cognitive and NIBS protocols for empowering cognitive and attention control in healthy elderly people, we designed a longitudinal three-branch study. Thirty-two participants were divided into NIBS, cognitive empowerment, and control groups and underwent pre-intervention, post-intervention, and follow-up neuropsychological/electrophysiological assessment. The intervention period lasted eight weeks, with three sessions per week. Results: The analyses of neuropsychological and electrophysiological (event-related potentials, ERP) data across the assessment steps highlighted that a specific response to the empowerment interventions, with better performances at tests tapping on executive functions and increased ERP responses to a challenging attention task. Such effects were partly maintained at the follow-up. Conclusion: Present findings are consistent with evidences on the role of prefrontal cortex in supporting executive control [3]. Structured neurocognitive empowerment protocols may then help to improve cognitive abilities in healthy elderly people as well as their quality of life, as suggested by participants’ reports on subjective increase in everyday functioning. References: 1. Antonietti A, Balconi M, Catellani P, Marchetti A. Empowering Skills for an Active Ageing and Healthy Living. In: Riva G, Ajmone Marsan P, Grassi C, editors. Active Aging and Healthy Living. Amsterdam: IOS Press; 2014. p. 157–171. 2. Balconi M, Pala F, Crivelli D. Effetto della neuromodulazione corticale (tDCS) nell’healthy ageing. Correlati EEG e comportamentali [The effect of cortical neuromodulation (tDCS) in healthy ageing. EEG and behavioural correlates]. Ric di Psicol. 2016;1:45–62. 3. Cabeza R, Dennis NA. Frontal lobes and aging. In: Stuss DT, Knight RT, editors. Principles of Frontal Lobe Function. 2nd edition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2013. p. 628–652.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings of the "2nd Congress on Evidence Based Mental Health: from research to clinical practice"
Pagine175
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018
Evento2nd Congress on Evidence Based Mental Health: from research to clinical practice - Kavala
Durata: 28 giu 20181 lug 2018

Convegno

Convegno2nd Congress on Evidence Based Mental Health: from research to clinical practice
CittàKavala
Periodo28/6/181/7/18

Keywords

  • EEG
  • Healthy aging
  • Neurocognitive empowerment
  • Neuromodulation
  • tDCS

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