IMR Press / JIN / Volume 19 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin.2020.02.35
Open Access Short Communication
Computerized cognitive rehabilitation for treatment of cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis: an explorative study
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1 Lab of Cognitive Neuroscience, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 54124, Greece
2 The Multiple Sclerosis Center, 2nd Department of Neurology, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 54621, Greece
3 Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, 1678, Cyprus
4 Department of Neurology, Inselspital, University Hospital, Bern, 3010, Switzerland
5 Neuropsychology Section, Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, University Hospital of Patras and University of Patras Medical School, Patras, 26504, Greece
6 Department of Speech and Language Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, 45100, Greece
7 Department of Neurology, University of Thessaly, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa, 41334, Greece
*Correspondence: (Christos Bakirtzis)
These authors contributed equally.
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2020, 19(2), 341–347;
Submitted: 9 February 2020 | Revised: 2 May 2020 | Accepted: 6 May 2020 | Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in multiple sclerosis research)
Copyright: © 2020 Vilou et al. Published by IMR press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license

In this explorative study, forty-seven patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis were randomized to a custom 6-week cognitive rehabilitation intervention (n = 23) using the BrainHQTM web-based platform and to a control group condition (n = 24). Cognitive rehabilitation intervention consisted of two 40-minute sessions per week. All patients were tested with the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis battery, the Stroop Color-Word Test, and the trail making test, while the Beck Depression Inventory - Fast Screen questionnaire was used as a measure of mood and the cognitive reserve index as a measure of cognitive reserve. We used the reliable change index, to calculate clinically meaningful changes of performance, and to discriminate between responders and non-responders of this intervention. Statistically significant improvement of the group receiving treatment was observed mainly on measures of verbal and non-verbal episodic memory and, to a lesser extent, on reading speed, selective attention/response inhibition, and visual attention. Verbal memory and visual attention improvements remained significant after considering the corrected for multiple comparisons level of significance. According to reliable change index scores, 12/23 (52.2%) of patients in the intervention group presented meaningful improvement in at least one measure (Greek Verbal Learning Test: 26%, Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised: 17.4%, Stroop-Words test: 13%). This explorative study provides evidence that, at least in the short term, cognitive rehabilitation may improve the cognitive performance of multiple sclerosis patients.

Multiple sclerosis
cognitive rehabilitation
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