NECC ‘s suite of research-based cognitive fitness programs attempts to slow the progression of cognitive decline by systematically stimulating six major cognitive domains utilizing a social model. Positive behavioral changes are often noted in participants with dementia after only a few weeks in the program, and early pilot studies presented sufficient promise to warrant additional field study. Some of the most recent research initiatives examined the effectiveness of NECC programs in a sample of individuals with varying degrees of cognitive impairment.
It appears that stability and mild to moderate improvement on various measures of cognitive functioning was common across all programs involved in the study. These findings are of note because programs were delivered to individuals spanning the entire spectrum of dementia severity – from little/mild impairment to those with severe impairment. The study found promising evidence that NECC programs can stabilize functioning in a variety of different areas in those with varying degrees of dementia and produce mild to moderate improvement in some areas of functioning. Based on these outcomes, additional research efforts are warranted and are continuing.