Playful multimodal activation with assessment of neuropsychological profiles in Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s Dement. 2020;16(Suppl. 7):e047357 https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.047357, 12/2020
Background: A key problem in developing interventions in dementia care is the lack
of knowledge about the mental processes and individual dependencies between functional impairments evolving over time. Neuropsychological profiles reflect the impact
of the disease on distinctive neuroanatomic networks associated with complex cognitive domains. Recently serious games have been successfully validated with high
potential as dementia biomarkers but increased estimation accuracy and personalised
neuropsychological profiling is still required.
Method: Tablet-PC-based intervention was applied within 10 weeks in Austria, engaging persons with dementia (PwD) with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) living at home in terms
of playful multimodal training and activation (n=15, age M=81.7 years, MoCA score
M=17.9). PwDs interacted with an integrated version of two serious games: (a) 15 PwD
played ‘MIRA’, a playful version of the anti-saccade task, and (b) 8 PwD played ‘MMA’,
a suite of cognitive exercises (puzzle, memory, text gap filling). The games were introduced and assisted by trainers, some PwD learned to play alone.
Result: The score of gaze-based MIRA showed significant correlation with MoCA score
(Rho= .713**) and enabled individual MoCA score estimates with errors of less than
M=2.6 MoCA points. MMA showed correlation with MoCA (Rho=p=.755*) and further MoCA subscores so that the neuropsychological profile could be established
including impairments in visuospatial operations, attention, abstraction, language and
Conclusion: The work outlined within the EU project PLAYTIME indicates successful
steps towards daily use of gaze-based games. MIRA together with the MMA training
enables continuous estimates of Alzheimer’s mental state in general but also to estimate individual neuropsychological profiles to identify personal impairments and their
course over time. The playful training app was very well accepted by PwD users and
offers with its pervasive mental assessment tool a large potential for future long-term
monitoring in numerous AD care services.