Posts Tagged "brain training"

MRI Results of Cognitive Rehab for Mild Brain Injury

Posted by on Sep 18, 2020 in Brain Training for TBI, Uncategorized | Comments Off on MRI Results of Cognitive Rehab for Mild Brain Injury

In this study, we explored the statistical and clinical significance of cognitive changes and transfer of training to real-life functioning following 60 hours of cognitive rehabilitation training for six patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or non-traumatic acquired brain injury (ABI). We also explored changes in functional connectivity and neural correlates of cognitive test gains following the training using fMRI. All cognitive test scores showed improvement with statistically significant changes on five of the seven measures (long-term memory, processing speed, reasoning, auditory processing, and overall IQ score). The mean change in IQ score was 20 points. Patients reported improvements in cognition, mood, social identity, work and school performance, and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). With MRI, we documented significant region-to-region changes in connectivity following cognitive training including those involving the cerebellum and cerebellar networks. We also found significant correlations between changes in IQ score and change in white matter integrity of bilateral corticospinal tracts (CST) and the left uncinate fasciculus. Moore, A.L., Carpenter, D., James, R., Miller, T., Moore, J., Disbrow, E., & Ledbetter, C. (2020). Neuroimaging and Neuropsychological Outcomes Following Clinician-Delivered Cognitive Training for Six Patients with Mild Brain Injury: A Multiple Case Study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14 (229), 1-15....

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Brain Training for Early Alzheimer’s

Posted by on Oct 1, 2019 in Brain Training for Seniors | Comments Off on Brain Training for Early Alzheimer’s

Brain Training for Early Alzheimer’s

Multidisciplinary Intervention Creates Neural Changes and Improvements in Cognition and Daily Function in Early Alzheimer’s: Study Shows Adaptation of Bredesen Protocol Promising in Slowing Clinical Cognitive Decline September 13, 2019 – The results of our study just published in the Open BioMedical (OBM) journal Integrative and Complementary Medicine highlight the benefits of a functional medicine approach to slowing cognitive decline in adults over age 55 with clinical cognitive impairment including mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers examined changes in cognitive skills, brain connectivity, and daily functioning following a multifaceted anti-neuroinflammatory intervention that included physical exercise, mental exercise, a grain-free/sugar-free diet, anti-inflammatory nutritional supplements, sleep optimization, and stress management within the context of a functional medicine practice for five patients with varying levels of cognitive impairment.  The key findings include: • Improvement and stability in cognition. After the nine-month intervention, three of the five patients were no longer classified as cognitively impaired, while a fourth patient improved from moderately-to-severely impaired to mildly impaired. The fifth patient who entered the study with Stage 2 Alzheimer’s remained stable. • Improved daily functioning and outlook. Patients reported improved memory, attention, mental clarity, as well as increased energy, better mood, and improved outlook on life. • Changes in brain connectivity visible on fMRI. fMRI analyses revealed changes in the brain that suggest improved efficiency, as well as changes in network connectivity that correlated with changes on neuropsychological tests. The study was led by functional medicine physician Randolph James, MD, of True Life Medicine, neuroscientist Christina Ledbetter, PhD, of LSU Health Science Center and Dick Carpenter, PhD, from University of Colorado Colorado Springs, along with cognitive psychologist Amy Lawson Moore, PhD, and Terissa Miller, MS Psy, from Gibson Institute of Cognitive Research. Xymogen Pharmaceuticals (FL) donated the supplements for the study and Penrad Imaging (CO) conducted the fMRIs. “The MRI findings were indeed exciting,” says Ledbetter. “Not only that we could use functional MRI to detect changes in connections between regions of interest in the brain, but also that those changes directly correlated with changes on dementia assessments.” The intervention was an adaptation of the Bredesen Protocol, a novel multifaceted approach to reversing Alzheimer’s disease by targeting inflammation. Neuro-inflammation is a prominent finding in age-related cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Numerous cellular pathways are associated with inflammatory responses and successful treatment of inflammation likely requires targeting these multiple pathways. Although the current study included the same variety of therapeutic approaches seen in Bredesen’s work, the study departed from Bredesen’s research protocols by including structured cognitive training delivered by clinicians in scheduled clinic appointments. “We wanted to increase compliance to this critical pillar of the intervention by adding the human delivery element. We weren’t convinced that computer games could provide the intensity, complexity, and motivation required to drive neuroplasticity, so we opted for human-delivered cognitive training,” says Moore. “It paid off. Patients were 100% compliant with this aspect of the intervention.” The current study also used standard neuroimaging and neuropsychological assessments for all patients to enable statistical analysis of the outcomes. The full study, “Feasibility of a Functional Medicine Approach to Slowing Clinical Cognitive Decline in Patients Over Age 55: A Multiple Case Study Report” is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.21926/obm.icm.1903054  ...

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Can Brain Training Improve ACT Scores?

Posted by on Jun 19, 2019 in Brain Training for Children & Adolescents | Comments Off on Can Brain Training Improve ACT Scores?

Open Letter to College Admission Offices: The Contribution of Cognitive Training to Improved College Entrance Exam Performance Research has shown us again and again that cognitive skills correlate with standardized math and language arts test scores, and that IQ scores are significant predictors of performance on college entrance exams. Thus, it is not only plausible but probable that strengthening the individual cognitive skills that comprise the composite IQ score can contribute to increased performance on standardized tests. Cognitive skill deficits—especially deficits in working memory, processing speed, and executive functions—are common among struggling students. Because cognitive skills are significant predictors of academic performance, interventions that remediate cognitive deficits are critical to maximizing a student’s academic success. Cognitive training programs like those offered at LearningRx brain training centers are a prime example of how an intervention can target and remediate weak cognitive skills through repeated engagement in intense mental tasks. By isolating weaknesses in cognition and exposing a student to concentrated remediation exercises targeting those weak skills, cognitive training can improve not only the trained skills but related ones as well. Unlike tutoring, cognitive training does not re-teach content but, instead, enhances the individual underlying learning skills such as working memory, long-term memory, processing speed, reasoning, attention, and visual and auditory processing—all skills that contribute to an individual’s ability to think and learn efficiently. What evidence do we have that cognitive training can help improve achievement test scores? Thanks to the amazing plasticity of the brain, we can document the malleability of cognition with changes on standardized measures of intelligence and by using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to illustrate changes in neural connectivity following an intervention. What’s more, those neural changes have been shown to correlate with changes on cognitive test scores. LearningRx measures student progress by administering both cognitive and achievement tests prior to beginning cognitive training and immediately after completing a cognitive training program. Among the 9,959 cognitive training clients who completed a reading intervention program between 2010 and 2018, the average gain in reading skills was 3.5 years, with the largest gain of 6.3 years in Sound Awareness following training. All changes were statistically significant. Among the 3,521 cognitive training clients who completed a math intervention between 2010 and 2018, the average gain in math skills was 3.2 years, with the largest gain of 3.6 years in Quantitative Concepts following training. All of those changes were also statistically significant. These same clients averaged a 15-point gain in overall IQ score along with statistically significant changes in individual cognitive skills—changes that have also been documented in multiple controlled trials and published peer-reviewed studies. How, then, can cognitive training improve scores on tests that measure knowledge of content? The need for multiple strong cognitive skills for effective test-taking applies across content areas and is independent from the content except for the ability to encode and recall prior knowledge. For example, a student needs strong sustained attention skills to focus on a test, particularly a lengthy one. He also needs strong memory skills. Not only must he be able to recall prior knowledge, he must have the working memory capacity to keep information in mind while using it to answer test questions. The Math section of the ACT requires recall and application of memorized mathematical formulas, without which a student cannot perform well. A student must also have strong reasoning skills, both inductive and deductive, as well as rapid processing speed. Tests like the ACT and SAT are notoriously fast-paced. He must be able to quickly but effectively read each question and the answer choices while using reasoning skills to determine...

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More Research on Brain Training for ADHD

Posted by on Jun 26, 2018 in Brain Training for ADHD, Brain Training for Children & Adolescents | Comments Off on More Research on Brain Training for ADHD

In a randomized controlled trial, children with ADHD who completed 60 hours of ThinkRx cognitive training realized significant clinical cognitive change AND behavioral improvements.  The study, “Clinician-delivered cognitive training for children with attention problems: Transfer effects on cognitive and behavior from the ThinkRx randomized controlled trial,” was just published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment.  Purpose: The impact of attention problems on academic and social functioning coupled with the large number of children failing to respond to stimulant medication or behavioral therapy makes adjunctive therapies such as cognitive training appealing for families and clinicians of children with attention difficulties or childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the results of cognitive training studies have failed to find far transfer effects with this population. This study examined the quantitative cognitive effects and parent-reported behavioral effects of a clinician-delivered cognitive training program with children who have attention problems. Patients and methods: Using a randomized controlled study design, we examined the impact of a clinician-delivered cognitive training program on processing speed, fluid reasoning, memory, visual processing, auditory processing, attention, overall intelligence quotient score, and behavior of students (n=13) aged 8–14 years with attention problems. Participants were randomly assigned to either a waitlist control group or a treatment group for 60 hours of cognitive training with ThinkRx, a clinician-delivered intervention that targets multiple cognitive skills with game-like, but rigorous mental tasks in 60–90-minute training sessions at least 3 days per week. Results: Results included greater mean pretest to posttest change scores on all variables for the treatment group versus the control group with statistically significant differences noted in working memory, long-term memory, logic and reasoning, auditory processing, and intelligence quotient score. Qualitative outcomes included parent-reported changes in confidence, cooperation, and self-discipline. Conclusion: Children with attention problems who completed 60 hours of clinician-delivered ThinkRx cognitive training realized both cognitive and behavioral improvements Read the article https://www.dovepress.com/articles.php?article_id=39028 Link to video abstract:...

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Brain Training for Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by on Jun 22, 2018 in Brain Training for TBI | Comments Off on Brain Training for Traumatic Brain Injury

Here’s a selection of research on brain training for traumatic brain injury (TBI): Ledbetter, C., Moore, A.L., Mitchell, T. (2017). Cognitive effects of ThinkRx cognitive rehabilitation training for eleven soldiers with brain injury: A retrospective chart review. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(825). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00825 The current study examined the cognitive outcomes following ThinkRx, a clinician-delivered cognitive rehabilitation training program for soldiers recovering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI). In a retrospective chart review, we examined cognitive outcomes of 11 cases who had completed an average of 80 hours of ThinkRx cognitive rehabilitation training delivered by clinicians and supplemented with digital training exercises. Outcome measures included scores from six cognitive skill batteries on the Woodcock Johnson  III Tests of Cognitive Abilities. Participants achieved gains in all cognitive skills tested and achieved statistically significant changes in long-term memory, processing speed, auditory processing, and fluid reasoning with very large effect sizes. Clinically significant changes in multiple cognitive skills were also noted across cases. Link to article: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00825/full Ledbetter, C., & Moore, A. (2018). Neuroimaging outcomes of a cognitive rehabilitation training program. Journal of Neuroimaging, 28(2), 225-233. doi: 10.1111/jon.12507 To investigate if aberrant brain connectivity and changes in brain connectivity (a neuroimaging marker of neuroplasticity), were evident prior to and after completion of a robust cognitive training program, a series of case studies were carried out in subjects with varying degrees of traumatic brain injuries (n = 5) and cognitive impairment (n = 5). MR exams were acquired on all subjects prior to and upon completion of the ThinkRx cognitive training program. In addition to MR exams, all subjects completed pre-post neuropsychological testing (WJ-IV) and condition-specific rating scales. For all cases, neuropsychological testing and qualitative outcomes measures increased, supporting that the robustness of the training program held for each imaged case study. Normalization of DMN connectivity, including decreased hyperconnectivity and reoccurrence of anticorrelated activity, was evident in the most severe TBI case. At the group level, significant training-induced changes in neural connectivity were identified.  Read the article. Or read the abstract on pages 230-231:Neuroimaging Outcomes for TBI and MCI_J of Neuroimaging Moore, A.L., & Ledbetter, C. (2018). MRI, qEEG, & neuropsychological outcomes following cognitive rehabilitation training for severe traumatic brain injury: A clinical case study. Presentation at Brain Injury Summit, Jan 2018, Vail, CO. Using a single case design, we examined neural connectivity changes with fMRI, qEEG, and changes in IQ score, working memory, long-term memory, visual & auditory processing, processing speed, attention, reasoning, and everyday functioning following 60 hours of cognitive training 8 years after a severe Traumatic Brain Injury.  Neuropsychological testing results showed a 21-point increase in IQ score and significant gains in working memory, processing speed, logic and reasoning, and visual processing; as well as gains in long-term memory and auditory processing.  FMRI showed normalization of the Default Mode Network (DMN) with reappearance of anti-correlations, and decreased hyperconnectivity was evident post-training.  Post qEEG showed normalization of activity in the left frontal region which was previously abnormal.  Functional outcomes included improved motivation for life, better focus and problem-solving, improved mood, no deficits in daily living tasks, and a return to former high level career field. Link to presentation Moore, A.L., Ledbetter, C., & Carpenter, D. (2017). MRI and neuropsychological outcomes following cognitive rehabilitation training in traumatic brain injury: A Multiple case study.  Presented at Society for Neuroscience, November 2017, Washington, DC. Using a multiple case study design, we examined neural connectivity changes with fMRI and changes in IQ score, working memory, long-term memory, visual & auditory processing, processing speed, attention, reasoning, and everyday functioning following 60 hours of...

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