Methodology and preliminary data on feasibility of a neurofeedback protocol to improve visual attention to letters in mild Alzheimer's disease

the Consortium for Accessible Multimodal Brain-Body Interfaces (CAMBI)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems are controlled by users through neurophysiological input for a variety of applications, including communication, environmental control, and motor rehabilitation. Although individuals with severe speech and physical impairment are the primary users of this technology, BCIs have emerged as a potential tool for broader populations, including delivering cognitive training/interventions with neurofeedback (NFB). Methods: This paper describes the development and preliminary testing of a protocol for use of a BCI system with NFB as an intervention for people with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD). The intervention focused on training visual attention and language skills, as AD is often associated with functional impairments in both. This funded pilot study called for enrolling five participants with mild AD in a six-week BCI EEG-based NFB intervention that followed a four-to-seven-week baseline phase. While two participants completed the study, the remaining three participants could not complete the intervention phase because of COVID-19 restrictions. Results: Preliminary pilot results suggested: (1) participants with mild AD were able to participate in a study with multiple assessments per week and complete all outcome measures, (2) most outcome measures were reliable during the baseline phase, and (3) all participants with mild AD learned to operate a BCI spelling system with training. Conclusions: Although preliminary results demonstrate practical feasibility to deliver NFB intervention using a BCI to adults with AD, completion of the protocol in its entirety with more participants is needed to further assess whether implementing NFB-based cognitive intervention is justified by functional treatment outcomes. Trial registration: This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03790774).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100950
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials Communications
Volume28
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • Attention
  • Brain-computer interfaces
  • Cognitive remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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