The Learning of Memory Support System in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Jun Min Koay, Dona E. Locke, Anne Shandera-Ochsner, Melanie Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Background: The syndrome of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is classified into different subtypes– amnestic MCI (aMCI) and non-amnestic MCI based on cognitive domains impacted, while different underlying disease etiologies cause the impairments. The Memory Support System (MSS), a memory-support tool which utilizes a calendar/planner, has been shown to have positive impact on daily functioning in MCI (Chandler et al., 2017). We have previously shown that cognitive impairment severity and personality traits are associated with MSS learning (De Wit et al., 2021; Khayoun et al., 2021). In this study, we hypothesized that 1) participants with single domain aMCI (SD-aMCI) will have higher MSS learning scores than multi-domain aMCI (MD-aMCI), and 2) participants with suspected Alzheimer’s disease (AD) etiology will have lower MSS learning scores than other etiologies. Method: Participants (mean age = 75.2) underwent daily MSS training between 2017 and 2021 as part of the 10-day Mayo Clinic HABIT program. The MSS learning success score (LSS) was determined by how far participants progressed in three learning phases of increasing difficulty: Acquisition (0-2 points), Application (3-4 points), and Adaptation (5-6 points; Greenway et al., 2008). Ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to predict MSS learning scores between SD-aMCI (n = 142) versus MD-aMCI (n = 119), and AD etiology (n = 213) versus other neurodegenerative etiologies (n = 57). Dementia Rating Scale-2 scores (Jurica, 2001) were included to control for cognitive severity. Result: Compared to participants with SD-aMCI, those with MD-aMCI had 54.1% lower odds of having higher LSS at training end (p =.004), after controlling for cognitive impairment severity. AD versus other etiology’s impact on LSS was nonsignificant. Conclusion: Participants with MD-aMCI showed poorer MSS learning efficiency than participants with SD-aMCI. Etiology did not impact MSS learning. Results suggest having more than just memory impairment (e.g., additional language or executive dysfunction) reduces MSS learning, regardless of overall impairment level. Additional MSS training may be needed to facilitate learning for these individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere063432
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue numberS8
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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