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Brain Changes With Game Training in Aging (BrainGame)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02490137
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 3, 2015
Last Update Posted : January 10, 2019
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Brief Summary:
The purpose is to use MRI to investigate brain changes associated with playing a race car video game for 90 minutes in aging adults both with and without early signs of dementia.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Aging Dementia Behavioral: Race Car Video Game Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Neuroplasticity is an important process associated with memory and learning, and may be impaired in early Alzheimer's disease (AD). Video games are one potential strategy for investigating adaptive cognitive learning. Recent neuroimaging studies in healthy young adults have been able to detect brain changes associated with learning and memory from a racing video game over relatively short training periods of a couple hours. This strategy offers significant promise for characterizing the potential for neuroplasticity in patients at risk for AD including amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).

This project will apply video game training with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scanning to investigate adaptive learning, working memory and neuroplasticity as a function of aging and in patients with aMCI. A total of forty participants will be studied. Twenty subjects will undergo the video game training. Twenty subjects will be passive controls.

Specific Aims:

To characterize the microstructural brain changes after video game training in aging subjects and determine how patients with amnestic MCI (aMCI) and early AD are affected. For this study, adult participants ages 50 and older including patients with aMCI and early AD will undergo two neuroimaging sessions spaced roughly two hours apart that are bracketed around roughly 90 minutes of car racing game play. We will use diffusion-weighted imaging to detect longitudinal changes in microstructure of the hippocampus and parahippocampus. A primary objective of this study is to demonstrate that these training and imaging methods are translatable to patients with MCI. We will investigate the following two important hypotheses.

Hypothesis 1: Following car racing video game play, participants, on average, will demonstrate significant microstructural changes in hippocampal and parahippocampal brain regions measured with MRI.

Hypothesis 2: The microstructural changes in the hippocampus and parahippocampus measured with MRI will be significantly correlated with (a) cognitive memory performance as assessed by recent memory assessments, and (b) improvements in video game performance in all participants.

The primary outcome measures for both Hypotheses are the changes in the MRI measurements following car racing video game play.

A long-term objective of this project is to determine whether imaging short term neuroplasticity is predictive for individual patients of either future conversion to AD or the effectiveness of cognitive training therapies. More generally, neuroimaging markers of learning-induced brain plasticity would provide extremely useful tools for investigations of aging, dementias, and neurodegenerative diseases.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 20 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Brain Changes With Game Training in Aging
Actual Study Start Date : June 15, 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 15, 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : August 15, 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Game Players
Participants that will play video game
Behavioral: Race Car Video Game
Repeatedly playing a race car video game

No Intervention: Control
No video game experience

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. MRI: Mean Diffusivity [ Time Frame: 1.5-2 hours ]
    MRI based Mean Diffusivity changes in brain following playing video game for 90 minutes

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. MRI: Structural Morphometry [ Time Frame: 1.5-2 hours ]
    Local brain volumetric or shape changes

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   50 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. 50-80 years of age
  2. Part of existing aging research sample cohorts at University of Wisconsin - Madison
  3. Successful research MRI study within prior two years
  4. May include participants with

    1. No diagnosed cognitive impairment
    2. amnestic MCI
    3. mild AD (single or multi-domain) with predominant amnesia

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Contraindications to MRI (see Risks of MRI below)
  2. Significant experience with playing race car video games in previous 2 years.
  3. Severe AD
  4. Lack of capacity as determined by the Capacity Assessment of Understanding questionnaire
  5. Women who may be pregnant

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02490137

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United States, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 53705
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Wisconsin, Madison
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Principal Investigator: Andrew Alexander, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison
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Responsible Party: University of Wisconsin, Madison
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02490137    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2014-1036
First Posted: July 3, 2015    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 10, 2019
Last Verified: January 2019
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurocognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders