New Cochrane review confirms the benefit and relevance

of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) for people with dementia
  • Reviews carried out by Cochrane Review Groups are recognized worldwide as the highest standard in evidence-based healthcare
  • The review shows cognitive benefits of CST corresponding to a 6-month delay in cognitive decline in mild to moderate dementia, and additional improvements in communication and social interaction 
  • Provides further solid support for the increased adoption of CST as a non-pharmaceutical dementia therapy worldwide and for Brain+’ CST-based suite of digital dementia products  

A 2nd systematic Cochrane review, ‘Cognitive stimulation to improve cognitive functioning in people with dementia’ (Woods et al., 2023), has been published. The systematic review further strengthens the scientific evidence base of CST, the main therapy for dementia that Brain+ is pioneering the digitalization of in the form of Digital Therapeutics for dementia. 

The study aims and main findings: The aim of the systematic review has been to find out if CST was better for people living with dementia than usual care or unstructured social activities to improve cognitive abilities (including memory, thinking, and language skills) and other life aspects. The review included 37 studies involving 2766 participants with mild or moderate dementia and an average age of 79 years. The review found evidence of increases in cognition, communication, and social interaction, and several additional areas; including slight increases in self-reported quality of life, in self-reported mood, improvement in interviewer-rated mood, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, and in behavior that challenges. The certainty of the evidence was moderate-to-high, except for self-reported quality of life, which was low certainty. The cognitive benefit of CST equates roughly to a six-month delay in the cognitive decline usually expected in mild-to-moderate dementia (~2 points on the Mini Mental State Examination scale).

We are excited to see how evidence and acceptance of CST are expanding in the clinical communities, with more countries and use cases being added. The review further corroborates the potential of CST in becoming a globally adopted standard practice for cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s dementia, adding to other recent testaments of this trend, in the World Health Organization’s 2022 report on dementia research & care and the Alzheimer’s Report 2022.

Simon Nielsen, Chief Science & Innovation officer of Brain+
Increased efficacy when increasing “dosage” of CST

The report also yields key insights into how CST can be effectively delivered, which Brain+ incorporates both into product design and customer recommendations, and clinical trial design. A key insight was that the frequency (dosage) of weekly CST sessions matters to outcomes. Two CST sessions per week result in a consistently stronger effect size on cognition. 

CST is positioned to become a global standard of care 

The 2nd Cochrane review is another major support to CST after 2022 saw CST being recommended for global implementation in the World Alzheimer’s Report 2022 and is highlighted by the World Health Organization major report on dementia research and care. Brain+ is uniquely positioned to benefit from this positive momentum for CST, as the pioneer of digital CST and working with global Key Opinion Leaders. CST is now used in 37 countries, and Brain+ has initially targeted Denmark (home market), Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The mission of Brain+ is to make effective treatments for cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s accessible to everyone as digital therapeutics 

About Cochrane Collaboration

Cochrane systematic reviews are carried out by Cochrane Collaboration, an international network of researchers belonging to this independent, not-for-profit organization. Cochrane systematic reviews focus on the effects of interventions in health care in order to support decisions made by policymakers, practitioners, and patients. Their reviews are vetted by the Cochrane Collaboration and must follow extensive guidelines with stringent requirements. Because of that they are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care resources. 


2nd Cochrane Review, 2023

Cognitive stimulation to improve cognitive functioning in people with dementia

1st Cochrane Review, 2012

Cognitive stimulation to improve cognitive functioning in people with dementia