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Greater brain activation after cognitive rehabilitation for MS

Date:
January 24, 2012
Source:
Kessler Foundation
Summary:
Scientists have documented increased cerebral activation in patients with multiple sclerosis following memory retraining using modified Story Memory Technique. This study is the first to demonstrate that behavioral interventions can have a positive effect on brain function in MS, an important step in validating the clinical utility of cognitive rehabilitation.

Neuroscientists at Kessler Foundation have documented increased cerebral activation in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) following memory retraining using the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT). This is the first study to demonstrate that behavioral interventions can have a positive effect on brain function in people with cognitive disability caused by MS, an important step in validating the clinical utility of cognitive rehabilitation.

According to Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, "This demonstrates that an effective cognitive rehabilitation protocol can lead to changes in the way the brain is actually processing information." Dr. Chiaravalloti is lead author of the article, which was published online by the Journal of Neurology on January 12.

Cognitive deficits are common in MS, though few studies have examined the efficacy of memory retraining in this population. Previous research conducted at Kessler Foundation demonstrated that mSMT improves new learning and memory in MS.

The new study utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to document brain activation patterns before and after memory retraining. In the double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial, 16 individuals were randomly assigned to treatment (n = 8) or placebo (n = 8) groups. Each underwent 10 memory retraining sessions (twice weekly for 5 weeks). After treatment, greater activation was evident on fMRI in the treatment group during performance of a memory task; no change was seen in the placebo group. Increased activation was associated with improved memory performance. These benefits may warrant third-party reimbursement for this intervention in selected patients.

The article, Increased cerebral activation after behavioral treatment for memory deficits in MS, DOI: 10.1007/s00415-011-6353-x appeared online in the Journal of Neurology on January 12, 2012. Authors are Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, Glenn Wylie, DPhil, Victoria Leavitt, PhD, and John DeLuca, PhD, all of Kessler Foundation, West Orange, NJ. The authors also have faculty appointments with UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ.

Research funded by National Institutes of Health grants RO1 HD045798 & HD45798-S, National MS Society and Kessler Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kessler Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nancy D. Chiaravalloti, Glenn Wylie, Victoria Leavitt, John DeLuca. Increased cerebral activation after behavioral treatment for memory deficits in MS. Journal of Neurology, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s00415-011-6353-x

Cite This Page:

Kessler Foundation. "Greater brain activation after cognitive rehabilitation for MS." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120117145059.htm>.
Kessler Foundation. (2012, January 24). Greater brain activation after cognitive rehabilitation for MS. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120117145059.htm
Kessler Foundation. "Greater brain activation after cognitive rehabilitation for MS." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120117145059.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

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