Compensatory and lifestyle-based brain health program for subjective cognitive decline: Self-implementation versus coaching

Harris Liou, Cynthia M. Stonnington, Amit A. Shah, Skye A. Buckner-Petty, Dona E.C. Locke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although recent studies have explored the potential of multidomain brain health programs, there is a dearth of literature on operationalizing this research to create a clinical treatment program specifically for subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Patients seen by geriatricians in primary care and by behavioral neurology services at our institution presenting with SCD were recruited via a patient-appropriate flyer. After all participants had a 1-h brain health consultation with a neuropsychologist and were provided with program materials, they were randomized to attend a 10-week intervention designed to support program implementation (N = 10) or the control group of implementing the program on their own (N = 11). The program included (1) a calendar-based executive and memory support system for compensatory training and (2) training in healthy lifestyle. There were no significant differences between groups for any outcomes. Participants across both groups showed significant improvements with moderate effect sizes in compensatory strategy use, anxiety symptoms, and daily functioning, which were sustained through 6-month follow-up. They also increased physical activity by the end of the intervention period but did not sustain this through 6-month follow-up. Our pilot study demonstrates preliminary feasibility of a cognitive compensatory and lifestyle-based brain health program. Additional research is recommended to further develop two potentially scalable implementation strategies—coaching and self-implementation after brief consultation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1306
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Brain health
  • Compensatory training
  • Subjective cognitive decline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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