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: bakirtzischristos@yahoo.gr (Christos Bakirtzis)
These authors contributed equally.
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2020, 19(2), 341–347; https://doi.org/10.31083/j.jin.2020.02.35
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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Abstract

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.

Keywords
Multiple sclerosis
cognitive rehabilitation
cognition
neurobehavior
neuropsychology
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