The largest private educational corporation in Japan, KUMON Institute
of Education, KUMON Learning Therapy Center (Mr.Hiroshi Otake -
Executive Officer) announced the significant result in improvement and
maintenance of senile dementia, development of the motivation of the
care workers, and improvement in the quality of aged care facility
services based on the research trial in the United States.
This result is to prove the same effectiveness of Learning Therapy at
the first time in overseas, since KUMON has already been providing the
same results in Learning Therapy in 1,400 nursing care facilities for
the elderly people and been developing 410 Brain Exercise class in 215
cities in Japan.
Learning Therapy has developed by Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, Institute of
Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, and is proven by the
cooperate project with Japanese government and KUMON Institute of
Education. Learning Therapy is a Non-Pharmacotherapy method intention to
improve and maintain of senile dementia in aged care.
Learning Therapy is defined as to maintain and improve the function of
the prefrontal cortex, such as the ability to self-reliance affairs by
carrying out while communicating with supporter using materials which
focused on reading and mathematics exercise due to measure cognitive
function and communication function of the learner.
KUMON Learning Therapy Center provided their first research trial in
overseas as the joint research project with Dr. Ryuta Kawashima in
cooperation with the NPO nursing care for elderly facility, Eliza
Jennings Senior Care Network (EJ) which has been practiced “Person
Centered Care” for 120 years of it’s history. This trial has started in
may 2011 for 6 month observation by performing the Learning Therapy for
the number of 23 person who have already developed dementia, and start
the observation of 24 persons group who does not perform the Learning
Therapy for comparison at the same time. This trial was carried out
under the United States of IRB approval (Institutional Review Board
ethics committee) and officially recognized as clinical trial in the
The result of quantitative research based on MMSE:Mini-Mental State
Examination and FAB:Frontal Assessment Battery at Bedside. Both are used
to measure the development of senile dementia worldwide. Below is the
result of the Learning Therapy at this time with comparison group which
were not provided the Learning Therapy.
FAB (frontal lobe function tests): Inspection of the interview format
for easy evaluation of the prefrontal cortex function.It consists of six
items out of 18 full scores. Healthy people over the age of eight can
take almost a perfect score.
MMSE (cognitive tests): A measure of cognitive impairment, consists of
11 items to examine questions of memory and cognitive ability to easily,
such as dementia mild cognitive impairment (MCI), less than 21 points
to 26 points 22 points out of 30 points overall in the is determined to
be a high possibility of cognitive impairment.
At the beginning (Baseline) there was not so differences in both groups,
but significant differences were observed at after six months (FU).
The change was apparent in each learner during the learning of just one
month from the start, changes such as to be able to write full names, be
able to work on numbering board, and surprising difference was observed
in communications with the care workers.
Care workers who worked on Learning Therapy has strong will to support
each senile dementia persons and practiced true “Person Centered Care”
in EJ has lead the significant result beyond the differences of culture
By receiving the results of the trial of six months, EJ has decided to
formally introduce Learning Therapy to it’s facilities and other three
related facilities from May 2012.
Dementia has become a major issue in the United States, Europe and Asia in the future, not only of modern Japan.
Also from the viewpoint of preventive medicine, if people have healthy
and constant life unrelated to dementia, it leads to a reduction of
medical costs and many cost of care.
KUMON has been leading education for children. Based on this significant
result beyond the differences of culture and language this time,
Learning Therapy has more open future prospect for the aged care./.