Table of Contents
Advances in Neuroscience
Volume 2014, Article ID 235479, 15 pages
Review Article

Improving Cognitive Function from Children to Old Age: A Systematic Review of Recent Smart Ageing Intervention Studies

1Human and Social Response Research Division, International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, 4-1 Seiryo-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
2Department of Advanced Brain Science, Smart Ageing International Research Center, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, 4-1 Seiryo-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
3Department of Functional Brain Imaging, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, 4-1 Seiryo-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan

Received 12 March 2014; Accepted 30 June 2014; Published 11 August 2014

Academic Editor: Daniela Schulz

Copyright © 2014 Rui Nouchi and Ryuta Kawashima. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Cognitive functions are important for daily life at any age. One purpose of Smart Ageing is to investigate how to improve cognitive functions. This systematic review evaluates beneficial effects of the intervention on cognitive functions. Method. We conducted a systematic review of intervention studies of improvements of cognitive functions published or in press before December 2013. Because of the heterogeneity of the intervention programs, a systematic and critical review of the interventions and outcomes was conducted instead of a meta-analysis. Results. We identified nine completed and published studies, which were divided into four categories: cognitive training using video game, cognitive training using PC, cognitive training using paper and pencil, and exercise training. Review results showed that various intervention programs can improve cognitive functions such as executive functions, working memory, episodic memory, processing speed, and general cognitive ability/IQ. Conclusions. The systematic review demonstrated that some intervention programs can be effective for improving various aspects of cognitive functioning at any age. Some limitations to this review include its small sample size and heterogeneity of programs and cognitive function measures, in addition to unresolved issues such as transfer of everyday skills and effectiveness for nonhealthy people.