Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking

Welcome to the HABIT page for people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and program participants.  The HABIT Program is for individuals with MCI and their loved ones to learn the best strategies for adapting, coping, and living their best lives with MCI.

Follow the HABIT page to receive updates and information about adjusting to MCI and combating dementia. Our goal is to connect you with others and provide you with information and support.

Apr 10, 2018

Dr. Locke in Italy!

By Dr. Melanie Chandler, HABIT FL Director, @drmelaniechandler


Exciting news from the HABIT team!

In March, Dr. Locke traveled to Torino, Italy to present research related to the HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking Program ® at the Advances in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's therapies meeting (AAT-AD/PD). She presented initial data from our research trial supported by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

The study

In our most recent research, we aim to answer the question "Do I need all 5 components of the HABIT program?" The HABIT Program components include cognitive rehabilitation, brain exercise, yoga, support group, and wellness class. There is support for the benefit of each piece individually from our research team and other researchers in this area.  We've also shown that HABIT as a whole is of benefit compared to no treatment, but we have not yet answered the question of whether HABIT could be 4 components, and if so, which 4?

In the study, we left out one component of the HABIT program each time we did it. The study was completed at all Mayo Clinic locations (Minnesota, Florida, Arizona) and the University of Washington. 272 couples enrolled in the study (thank you so much participants!!). We measured a number of outcomes for both patients and their partners.  Quality of life was our primary outcome for both patients and partners, but we also looked at self-efficacy (in our patients), mood (patients and partners), anxiety (patients and partners), functioning in daily memory tasks (patients), and burden (partners). We  followed couples for 18 months with measurements of their progress at the end of HABIT, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months.

The results

Dr. Locke's presentation was focused on just the end of treatment time point and the patient outcomes (quality of life, mood, self-efficacy, daily memory functioning). We found:

  • Patient quality of life was still improved even with just 4 components of the HABIT program.  Any combination of 4 components worked to improve quality of life.
  • When we removed either the wellness class or support group, patient mood outcomes worsened.
  • When we removed either wellness class or brain exercise, patient self-efficacy outcomes worsened.
  • Only the combination of cognitive rehabilitation, brain exercise, yoga, and wellness improved functioning in daily memory tasks.

Overall, what this says to us is that various combinations of behavioral interventions are helpful--it just depends on what outcome is most desired to know what may be the "best" combination. As most people want help and benefit in multiple ways with their or their loved one's MCI, the synergy of multiple behavioral interventions is likely most beneficial.

What's next?

Dr. Locke's look at the data only involved the patient outcomes and only at the time point just after completing treatment. The HABIT research team are looking at outcomes over time and the outcomes related to our partners. Stay tuned!

Hope the trip was enjoyed by all. What an honor to be invited to speak and present OUR program. Bonnie Phillips

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