Computerized Working-Memory Training for Children Following Arterial Ischemic Stroke: A Pilot Study With Long-Term Follow-Up

Megan Eve, Fiadhnait O'Keeffe, Simren Jhuti, Vijeya Ganesan, Gary Brown, Tara Murphy

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Cognitive deficits in the domains of working memory (WM) and executive function are well documented following childhood arterial ischemic stroke (AIS). However, there are currently no evidence-based cognitive interventions for this population. Computerized, implicit WM training has been demonstrated to generate generalized cognitive gains for children with WM and attention deficits and for adults following brain injury. This study used a pilot design to investigate the efficacy and feasibility of such an intervention program (Cogmed WM Training) for a childhood AIS population. Outcomes were measured via psychometric assessment at preintervention and postintervention and again at 1-year follow-up. At longitudinal follow-up, participants were found to have significant and persistent cognitive difficulties, particularly with attention and response inhibition. Following the computerized, implicit WM intervention, a significant improvement in phonological-loop WM was seen; however, this improvement was not maintained after 12 months. No additional significant improvements on standardized psychometric outcome measures were seen either immediately or at 12-month follow-up. Findings of this pilot study therefore do not currently support Cogmed as an effective intervention for children with AIS but highlight the need for further research, including randomized, controlled trials, to investigate cognitive interventions for the childhood AIS population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Neuropsychology: Child
Issue number4
Early online date15 Mar 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2016

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