Neuroplasticity-based computerized brain training can significantly improve objective and subjective measures of cognitive performance in patients with mild, moderate, or severe TBIs, who have persistent cognitive issues years after their injuries occurred, researchers suggest.

The researchers used the cognitive training exercises found in the brain fitness app BrainHQ from Posit Science.

In their report in the journal Neurorehabilitation, the researchers note that approximately 5.3 million Americans currently live with a chronic disability as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Cognitive deficits are a signature symptom of TBIs and can constrain employment options and the ability to perform everyday functions. The most common cognitive deficits are in speed of processing, attention, and working memory.

48-Person Study

The 48-person study included 27 patients with severe TBI, 15 patients with moderate TBI, and five patients with mild TBI. They had symptoms that had persisted for more than 8 years, on average, since their brain injuries. Participants were 52 percent male, 69 percent white, and average age of 44. They were randomized into a control group and an intervention group, which was asked to engage in a total of 40 hours of computerized auditory exercises over a 13-week period.

The researchers found the brain training intervention group had significant improvements in standard objective measures of verbal attention and working memory, as well as speed of processing. In addition, the brain training participants showed improvements in standard subjective measures of their own cognitive abilities in everyday tasks, a media release from Posit Science explains.

“This study represents a significant advance because it shows gains in both objective and self-report measures. That means that the researchers not only saw significant improvements in cognitive performance – but also that those gains were noticeable and significant to the study participants themselves. This certainly adds momentum to moving this type of training into clinical practice with appropriate clinical guidelines.”

— Dr. Henry Mahncke, Posit Science CEO

Dr. Mahncke recently authored an 83-person, 4-year BRAVE Study published in the journal Brain among mild TBI patients at five military and Veterans’ medical centers, which found the intervention group using BrainHQ exercises had statistically and clinically significant improvements in overall cognition as compared to a video games control group.

[Source(s): Posit Science, GlobeNewswire]

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