Background: Wearable cameras are a new type of intervention aimed at stimulating memory
in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Such passive external memory aids have started to be considered as alternatives
to both more active external aids (such as writing in diaries, journals, and timetables) and to internal
cognitive strategies (such as spaced retrieval, errorless learning).
Objective: In order to understand the benefits of these innovative devices for memory compensation, the
present experiment examined the effectiveness of two memory training strategies: SenseCam, a wearable
camera, a passive external memory aid and a memory training programme (MEMO+) created from
tasks known to stimulate memory, in comparison with a control condition, a personal written diary.
Method: Fifty-one patients with mild AD were randomly assigned to one of these three groups. Training
lasted for six consecutive weeks, two sessions a week, one hour each, for all groups. Patients underwent
a neuropsychological assessment at baseline, after treatment and at follow up (six months later).
Results: Groups showed non-significant differences at baseline. After treatment and at follow up, the
SenseCam group had a superior autobiographical memory (AM) performance, compared to the Memo+
and Diary groups. The SenseCam and the Memo+ groups both showed improved episodic and semantic
memory, and somewhat improved executive function.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that passive memory training with SenseCam is a promising alternative
to traditional memory training programs to help AD patients with autobiographical memory performance.