New mental health app may improve cognition in Parkinson's
An NHS cognitive training app may help improve the cognitive health of those living with Parkinson's. Early research conducted in the Netherlands found that those who used MyCognition regularly over a 24 week period reversed the decline in their overall cognitive health.
Whilst these positive findings must be taken with an element of caution owing to the same sample size (21 people), it is an encouraging step towards using technology as a form of treatment.
Additionally to its apparent efficacy, those using the app reported enjoying their experience, something essential to its long-term use. MyCognition received an 87.5% satisfaction rate amongst the patients who tried it, and three quarters said they would recommend the programme to other Parkinson’s patients. The sample size was 41 subjects, 21 tests plus 20 controls.
The MyCognition app, which is well reviewed and hailed as 'a true differentiator in the field' focuses on the five core cognitive domains:
- Attention – concentrating on one task at a time, blocking distractions. This is especially topical in today’s society where we have so many forms of entertainment battling for our attention.
- Processing speed – speed and accuracy. Your ability to perform sequences of tasks with smoothness, accuracy and coordination.
- Episodic memory – your recall of past experiences and events.
- Working memory – calculations and problem solving – finding solutions to make decisions.
- Executive function – planning, organising, creativity and control of our emotions.