Restoring cognition in multiple sclerosis

Restoring cognition in multiple sclerosis

By Angeli Mayadev, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

Cognitive dysfunction is common in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and can be present from initial diagnosis through late stages of the disease.  The most common issues are problems with:

  • Attention

  • Information processing (thinking)

  • Learning and memory

Recent papers have looked into which rehabilitative strategies would most help these issues.  A new study published in the journal Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair shows how one specific intervention could improve or restore impaired attention functions in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) who experienced major attention deficits. 

Researchers in Cantanzaro, Italy tested the cognitive performance of 12 people with RRMS over the course of six weeks. Cognitive training was performed using the software RehaCom, a common cognitive rehab tool online used in Europe.

Researchers looked at brain scans and neuropsychological performance tests to examine the effects of their cognitive rehabilitation approach. The experimental group met twice per week for 1-hour sessions of computer-assisted training of several attention ability and information processing tasks.

Researchers found that the group who underwent cognitive rehabilitation with RehaCom had improved attention. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) also revealed the presence of a functional reorganization in specific brain regions.

This research highlights that cognitive computer rehabilitation is a promising tool for improving attention issues in MS.

To learn more about MS and research studies happening locally, visit www.swedish.org/MS.

Comments
Alison
One can play three luminoisty.com games for no charge per day. I really love this site!
6/5/2013 11:20:41 AM
Kate Floyd | Education Coordinator, Swedish MS Center
Hi Cynthia,

Thank you for your question. Right now, there is nothing available that is medically or scientifically proven in the MS population. However, the website Lumosity.com has some cognitive games of interest (there is a monthly fee of around $15 plus a few days for a free trial). Another free website Dr. Mayadev recommends is MindTools.com.
5/13/2013 3:17:07 PM
Cynthia
I checked out the link for RehaCom and it looks like a business licensed version of the software. Is there something similar that you've found in your research that can be easily purchased by a single consumer?
5/13/2013 8:25:33 AM
Wolfeagle
I find this very interesting and promising... dx MS 2000
5/9/2013 7:41:25 AM
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