Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a state of a cognitive performance below of what is expected for an age and an educational level, but above a pathological level. MCI is one of the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease characterized by significant memory impairment that does not, however, meet the criteria for dementia. MCI patients may forget important information previously recalled, such as meetings, conversations, or recent events but continue to exhibit normal functional activities. MCI is also linked to the impairment of other aspects of cognitive function, such as attention, language, visual or executive function, including the inability of a person to make the right decisions, judge the time or sequence of steps required to fully execute a complex task.

Long-term studies show that on a global scale 15-20% of people aged 65 and over may develop MCI. Besides ageing, a wide spectrum of diseases and clinical conditions are related to MCI. In the case of cardiovascular diseases (stroke, heart attack, etc.), in addition to motor deficiency, patients develop cognitive and affective disorders. The relation of MCI to Parkinson’s disease has been similarly examined. Aphasia, a non-amnestic single cognitive domain MCI, does not affect memory and patients still reason as normal but are unable to communicate their thoughts easily.

Given the increase of the proportion of older people in the world population as well as the sharp increase in the survival rate of patients with acute diseases which, however, affect their cognitive functions, the importance of developing MCI prevention and rehabilitation tools is obvious. In recent years the interest in cognitive rehabiliation has led to the discovery of pathogenetic mechanisms of cognitive impairment and the development of new approaches to the recovery of neurons of the brain.

To this end, neuropsychologists are now increasingly using information and communication technologies, including serious games. Digital applications can provide a great alternative with respect to traditional methods, as they allow the patient to practice cognitive functions with rich media, such as sounds and images. A rehabiliation tool capable of managing such types of training material can generate different and operative experiences supporting the recovery process of the patient, while also recommending novel exercises that are difficult to realize with hard copy approaches.

The COGNIPLAT platform is an innovative cognitive impairment rehabilitation tool that is developed for assisting elderly who have MCI but have not yet developed dementia. It is built based on a multi-disciplinary approach combining theories of neuropsychology, cognitive linguistics and speech therapy organized in five domains, one diagnostic and four training domains focused on enhancing cognitive functions through different game exercises. In addition, the platform is designed to automatically adjust the complexity and type of exercises by adapting the cognitive requirements of the games to the characteristics of each patient.


COGNPLAT leaflet