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Spaced Retrieval and Episodic Memory Training in Alzheimer’s Disease

Authors Small JA, Cochrane D

Received 12 December 2019

Accepted for publication 8 March 2020

Published 17 April 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 519—536

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S242113

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Jeff A Small, Diana Cochrane

School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Correspondence: Jeff A Small Email jeffs@audiospeech.ubc.ca

Introduction: This study replicated and extended the findings from the author’s previous pilot study to further explore how a spaced retrieval (SR) memory training program might be effectively applied to help persons with Alzheimer’s disease (AD)  improve both short- and long-term recall of recent episodic events.
Methods: A quasi-experimental within-subject group study was conducted with 15 participants with a diagnosis of AD.
Results: Compared to a control condition, all participants were able to spontaneously recall significantly more specific details about trained events, and their recall was significantly enhanced when they were provided with cues. Although the findings indicated that people with AD were able to encode information during training, recall gains diminished by the end of the maintenance period.
Discussion: This study provides evidence that individuals with mild to moderate AD can learn and recall new episodic information through SR training. These findings support the use of SR as an intervention tool to help individuals maintain their functioning in episodic recent memory. However, more research into maintaining the long-term recall of recent episodic events is warranted.

Keywords: spaced retrieval, Alzheimer’s disease, memory, training, rehabilitation, episodic

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