Clinical practice guidelines support cognitive rehabilitation for people with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and cognitive impairment, but no class I randomized clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of self-administered computerized cognitive training. The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a self-administered computerized plasticity-based cognitive training programmes in primarily military/veteran participants with a history of mTBI and cognitive impairment. A multisite randomized double-blind clinical trial of a behavioural intervention with an active control was conducted from September 2013 to February 2017 including assessments at baseline, post-training, and after a 3-month follow-up period. Participants self-administered cognitive training (experimental and active control) programmes at home, remotely supervised by a healthcare coach, with an intended training schedule of 5 days per week, 1 h per day, for 13 weeks. Participants (149 contacted, 83 intent-to-treat) were confirmed to have a history of mTBI (mean of 7.2 years post-injury) through medical history/clinician interview and persistent cognitive impairment through neuropsychological testing and/or quantitative participant reported measure. The experimental intervention was a brain plasticity-based computerized cognitive training programme targeting speed/accuracy of information processing, and the active control was composed of computer games. The primary cognitive function measure was a composite of nine standardized neuropsychological assessments, and the primary directly observed functional measure a timed instrumental activities of daily living assessment. Secondary outcome measures included participant-reported assessments of cognitive and mental health. The treatment group showed an improvement in the composite cognitive measure significantly larger than that of the active control group at both the post-training [+6.9 points, confidence interval (CI) +1.0 to +12.7, P = 0.025, d = 0.555] and the follow-up visit (+7.4 points, CI +0.6 to +14.3, P = 0.039, d = 0.591). Both large and small cognitive function improvements were seen twice as frequently in the treatment group than in the active control group. No significant between-group effects were seen on other measures, including the directly-observed functional and symptom measures. Statistically equivalent improvements in both groups were seen in depressive and cognitive symptoms.
Monday, September 06, 2021
A test of plasticity-based cognitive training in treating mild traumatic brain injury
A study from Mahncke et al. (open source) shows that using a computerized cognitive training program that I have mentioned in previous MindBlog posts (BrainHQ, Posit Science) improves cognitive function in people with mild traumatic brain injury. Here is their abstract: