Mindfulness and Cognitive Training Interventions in Mild Cognitive Impairment: Impact on Cognition and Mood

Published:December 29, 2020DOI:


      With the lack of disease-modifying pharmacologic treatments for mild cognitive impairment and dementia, there has been an increasing clinical and research focus on nonpharmacological interventions for these disorders. Many treatment approaches, such as mindfulness and cognitive training, aim to mitigate or delay cognitive decline, particularly in early disease stages, while also offering potential benefits for mood and quality of life. In this review, we highlight the potential of mindfulness and cognitive training to improve cognition and mood in mild cognitive impairment. Emerging research suggests that these approaches are feasible and safe in this population, with preliminary evidence of positive effects on aspects of cognition (attention, psychomotor function, memory, executive function), depression, and anxiety, though some findings have been unclear or limited by methodological weaknesses. Even so, mindfulness and cognitive training warrant inclusion as current treatments for adults with mild cognitive impairment, even if there is need for additional research to clarify treatment outcomes and questions related to dose, mechanisms, and transfer and longevity of treatment effects.


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