Introduction: Cognitive training (CT) has been proposed as a treatment option for cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease (PD). We aimed to assess the efficacy of adaptive, computerized CT on cognitive function in PD. Methods: In this double-blind, randomized controlled trial we enrolled PD patients that experienced substantial subjective cognitive complaints. Over a period of eight weeks, participants underwent 24 sessions of computerized multi-domain CT or an active control intervention for 45 min each (randomized 1:1). The primary outcome was the accuracy on the Tower of London task; secondary outcomes included effects on other neuropsychological outcomes and subjective cognitive complaints. Outcomes were assessed before and after training and at six-months follow-up, and analyzed with multivariate mixed-model analyses. Results: The intention-to-treat population consisted of 136 participants (n = 68 vs. n = 68, age M: 62.9y, female: 39.7%). Multivariate mixed-model analyses showed no group difference on the Tower of London accuracy corrected for baseline performance (n = 130): B: −0.06, 95% CI: −0.27 to 0.15, p = 0.562. Participants in the CT group were on average 0.30 SD (i.e., 1.5 s) faster on difficulty load 4 of this task (secondary outcome): 95% CI: −0.55 to −0.06, p = 0.015. CT did not reduce subjective cognitive complaints. At follow-up, no group differences were found. Conclusions: This study shows no beneficial effect of eight-week computerized CT on the primary outcome (i.e., planning accuracy) and only minor improvements on secondary outcomes (i.e., processing speed) with limited clinical impact. Personalized or ecologically valid multi-modal intervention methods could be considered to achieve clinically meaningful and lasting effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Cognitive training
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • RCT

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