Effects of virtual reality-based cognitive training in older adults living without and with mild dementia: a pretest–posttest design pilot study


Ludmiła Zając-Lamparska, Monika Wiłkość-Dębczyńska, Adam Wojciechowski, Marta Podhorecka, Anna Polak-Szabela, Łukasz Warchoł, Kornelia Kędziora-Kornatowska, Aleksander Araszkiewicz & Paweł Izdebski



Modern technologies are increasingly used in the development of cognitive interventions for older adults. Research into possible applications of virtual reality in such interventions has begun only recently. The aim of present study was to evaluate the effects of 8 sessions of VR-based cognitive training using the GRADYS game in healthy older adults (n = 72; aged 60–88) and older adults living with mild dementia (n = 27; aged 60–89).


Older adults with mild dementia demonstrated worse baseline cognitive performance than participants without dementia. Both groups showed progress in training, which was greater in healthy older adults. There were also significant differences in cognitive functioning before and after the training. However, positive changes were revealed almost exclusively in the group of older adults without dementia. Based on the findings, we can recommend the GRADYS game for cognitive enhancement and as a possible counter-measure for cognitive decline experienced in normal cognitive ageing. Our results provide also support for the usefulness of VR technology in cognitive interventions in older adults. The use of the GRADYS game in persons living with dementia, however, would require several of the hardware and software modifications.