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CogniFit Coaches Multiple Sclerosis Patients To Improve Memory And Cognition

Posted Mar 25 2010 8:03am
CogniFit™, Inc., a leading maker of Brain Fitness Software, announced a new, independent study that shows CogniFit Personal Coach improves the cognitive function and skills of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. Many people with MS suffer some cognitive impairment as a result of disease. Patients who trained with the program showed significant improvement in 10 fundamental cognitive skills. Results of this study are published in the current issue of NeuroRehabilitation. During this study, one group of MS patients used CogniFit Personal Coach software for 20-30 minutes, three times a week for 12 weeks, and a control group did not participate in any training. For those individuals who used CogniFit Personal Coach, memory skills showed the greatest improvement. The training group exhibited a general memory increase of 21%, a visual working memory increase of 20% and a verbal-auditory working memory increase of 20% over and beyond that of the control group. Post-hoc, finer-grained analyses of the data showed that linguistic short-term and working memory had improved by 14% and 16% respectively in the cognitive training group over and beyond improvements in the control group. The post-hoc analyses also revealed that participants in the cognitive training group were exhibiting significant improvements, over those in the control group, in naming speed (9%), speed of object recall (10%), focused attention (8%), visuo-motor attention (10%) and visual spatial working memory (8%). The study also examined the unprompted and voluntary adherence rate of MS patients to cognitive training and results show that despite fatigue , a common characteristic side-effect of MS, the majority of the patients (71%) adhered to the training program. Patients who did not adhere were younger than patients who adhered, and in those patients severity of the disease was lower. MS is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes lesions in the nervous system. As part of the nervous system, the brain often sustains some of this damage, leading to cognitive impairment. Although attention/concentration and processing speed, as well as executive functions such as verbal fluency, concept formation, abstract reasoning, planning and monitoring are commonly affected by MS, memory is one of the areas that is most compromised. Researchers believe that CogniFit Personal Coach's ability to target the areas that need training most led to the dramatic improvements seen particularly across the different types of memory. "While patients in the cognitive training group were significantly improving vital cognitive functions using an enjoyable cognitive intervention at home, in the control group cognitive growth was often non-existent," said Dr. Evelyn Shatil, article author and Head of Cognitive Science at CogniFit. "We also observed high real-life adherence rates for patients with neurological disorders who trained - unprompted and voluntarily - in the privacy of their homes. Together, the findings offer great hope for comprehensive home-based personalized medicine which combines cognitive training interventions with medication therapy." CogniFit Personal Coach provides scientifically validated that is tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals. Following a baseline assessment, users engage in exercises designed to train their brain which continually adjust to the level of the user. As a result, people using CogniFit software are challenged enough to improve their abilities, but not frustrated by the software's difficulty level. As users' skills improve, the training also evolves. Previous studies using the CogniFit Personal Coach software have shown its ability to improve cognitive skills in elderly people with satisfactory and lower cognitive function. SourceCogniFit

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