Do-It-Yourself Gamified Cognitive Training: Viewpoint

Sjors C. F. van de Weijer*, Mark L. Kuijf, Nienke M. de Vries, Bastiaan R. Bloem, Annelien A. Duits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cognitive decline is an important nonmotor symptom in Parkinson disease (PD). Unfortunately, very few treatment options are available. Recent research pointed to small positive effects of nonpharmacological cognitive training in PD. Most of these trainings are performed under supervision and solely computerized versions of (traditional) paper-pencil cognitive training programs, lacking rewarding gamification stimulants that could help to promote adherence. By describing 3 different self-invented ways of cognitive gaming in patients with PD, we aimed to raise awareness for the potential of gamified cognitive training in PD patients. In addition, we hoped to inspire the readers with our case descriptions, highlighting the importance of both personalization and cocreation in the development of games for health. In this viewpoint, we have presented 3 PD patients with different ages, with different disease stages, and from various backgrounds, who all used self-invented cognitive training, including elements of personalization and gamification. To indicate generalization into a larger PD population, the recruitment results from a recent cognitive game trial are added. The presented cases show similarities in terms of awareness of their cognitive decline and the ways this process could potentially be counteracted, by looking for tools to train their cognition. On the basis of the response of the recruitment procedure, there seems to be interest in gamified cognitive training in a larger PD population too Gamification may add to traditional therapies in terms of personalization and adherence. Positive results have already been found with gamified trainings in other populations, and the cases described here suggest that PD is also an attractive area to develop and test gamified cognitive trainings. However, no results of gamified cognitive trainings in PD have been published to date. This suggests an unmet need in this area and may justify the development of gamified cognitive training and its evaluation, for which our considerations can be used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12130
Number of pages12
JournalJMIR Serious Games
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • cognitive remediation
  • Parkinson disease
  • video games
  • GAME

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