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RHEA,* a Nonpharmacological Cognitive Training Intervention in Patients With Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study

Kounti, Fotini MSc, PhD; Bakoglidou, Evaggelia PT; Agogiatou, Christina; Lombardo, Nancy B. Emerson PhD; Serper, Lynn Lazarus EdD; Tsolaki, Magda MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/TGR.0b013e31821e59a9
Alzheimer Disease Cognitive-Communication Interventions

Objective: This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of RHEA, a cognitive training through kinetic exercises, on patients with mild cognitive impairment.

Subjects and Method: Participants, completing study, were 58 mild cognitive impairment patients with MMSE = 27.69, assigned to 2 groups of 29 each (experimental, 20-weekly RHEA sessions, and no-therapy control), matched for age, gender, education, cholinesterase inhibitors, cognitive abilities. Neuropsychological assessments were performed at baseline and after 5 months.

Results: Between groups difference to the benefit of the experimental group were demonstrated in attention (P = .002), language (P = .015), visual-spatial abilities (P = .013), MMSE (P = .047), and daily function (P = .009). Experimental participants improved cognitive and functional performances while control participants remained stable.

Hellenic (Greek) Alzheimer Association and Alzheimer Association of Kalamaria (Drs Kounti and Tsolaki, Mss Bakoglidou and Agogiatou) and Third Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Aristotle University (Dr Tsolaki), Thessaloniki, Hellas; Brain Enhancement Services, Waltham (Ms Serper) and Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston (Dr Emerson Lombardo), Massachusetts.

Correspondence: Magda Tsolaki, MD, PhD, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Medicine, Petrou Sindika 13, Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Hellas, Greece (

Funding Sources: None for Hellenic investigators or for Dr Serper. Dr Nancy Emerson Lombardo was supported by the US National Institute of Aging grant P30-AG013846 (Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Core Center).

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

* RHEA was the Titaness daughter of Uranus, the sky, and Gaia, the Earth, in Greek mythology. She was known as “the mother of gods,” mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses. The word RHEA means flow, discharge, and motion.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.