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Efficacy of Cognitive Training in Older Adults with and without Subjective Cognitive Decline Is Associated with Inhibition Efficiency and Working Memory Span, Not with Cognitive Reserve

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The present study explores the role of cognitive reserve, executive functions, and working memory (WM) span, as factors that might explain training outcomes in cognitive status. Eighty-one older adults voluntarily participated in the study, classified either as older adults with subjective cognitive decline or cognitively intact. Each participant underwent a neuropsychological assessment that was conducted both at baseline (entailing cognitive reserve, executive functions, WM span and depressive symptomatology measures, as well as the Mini-Mental State Exam regarding initial cognitive status), and then 6 months later, once each participant had completed the training program (Mini-Mental State Exam at the endpoint). With respect to cognitive status the training program was most beneficial for subjective cognitive decline participants with low efficiency in inhibition at baseline (explaining a 33% of Mini-Mental State Exam total variance), whereas for cognitively intact participants training gains were observed for those who presented lower WM span.
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