Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a syndrome characterized by a decrease in cognitive abilities, while daily function is maintained. This condition, which is associated with an increased risk for the development of Alzheimer's disease, has no known definitive treatment at present. In this open-label pilot study we explored the possible benefits of neurofeedback for subjects with MCI. Eleven participants diagnosed with MCI were trained to increase the power of their individual upper alpha band of the electroencephalogram (EEG) signal over the central parietal region. This was achieved using an EEG-based neurofeedback training protocol. Training comprised ten 30-min sessions delivered over 5 weeks. Cognitive and electroencephalographic assessments were conducted before and after training and at 30 days following the last training session. A dose-dependent increase in peak alpha frequency was observed throughout the period of training. Memory performance also improved significantly following training, and this improvement was maintained at 30-day follow-up, while peak alpha frequency returned to baseline at this evaluation. Our findings suggest that neurofeedback may improve memory performance in subjects with mild cognitive impairment, and this benefit may be maintained beyond the training period.
Keywords: Electroencephalography; Memory; Mild cognitive impairment; Mild neurocognitive disorder; Neurofeedback; Peak alpha frequency.