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Study of processing speed impact on cognitive training

Date:
April 10, 2015
Source:
Kessler Foundation
Summary:
Treatment with the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT) may be affected by processing speed, researchers report. mSMT is a 10-session cognitive intervention protocol shown to improve new learning and memory in individuals with MS.
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Kessler Foundation researchers published a subanalysis of their MEMREHAB trial, which shows that treatment with the modified Story Memory Technique© (mSMT) may be affected by cognitive dysfunction. Investigators looked at the influence of processing speed on benefits of the mSMT, a 10-session cognitive intervention protocol shown to improve new learning and memory in individuals with MS. The influence of cognitive dysfunction on benefit from learning and memory rehabilitation in MS: A subanalysis of the MEMREHAB trial, was published online ahead of print on February 6 by Multiple Sclerosis Journal. The authors are John DeLuca, PhD, and Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, of Kessler Foundation.

Deficits in processing speed, which are common in MS, have been shown to adversely affect cognitive and everyday functioning. "This evidence supports the need to investigate the influence of processing speed in performance on cognitive interventions," said Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of Neuroscience & Neuropsychology and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Research at Kessler Foundation."

The MEMREHAB trial included 85 participants with MS; 45 received the intervention and 40 were controls. Half were found to have processing speed deficits; all had memory impairment as a criterion for participation in the trial. Among the participants with deficits in processing speed, the mSMT was not as beneficial. Performance on SDMT (Symbol Digit Modalities Test) was determined to be an indicator for mSMT benefit.

"Processing speed may be an indicator of cognitive decline, which may be a factor in the reduced benefit with mSMT," said Dr. Chiaravalloti. "Also, learning and memory impairments can have different mechanisms. In individuals with deficits in processing, impaired learning and memory may stem from difficulties with working memory and attention, as well as slowed processing speed. This could also affect outcomes on the mSMT."


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Materials provided by Kessler Foundation. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N. D. Chiaravalloti, J. DeLuca. The influence of cognitive dysfunction on benefit from learning and memory rehabilitation in MS: A sub-analysis of the MEMREHAB trial. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 2015; DOI: 10.1177/1352458514567726

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Kessler Foundation. "Study of processing speed impact on cognitive training." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150410165344.htm>.
Kessler Foundation. (2015, April 10). Study of processing speed impact on cognitive training. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150410165344.htm
Kessler Foundation. "Study of processing speed impact on cognitive training." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150410165344.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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