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The efficacy of the modified Story Memory Technique in progressive MS.

Chiaravalloti ND, et al. Mult Scler. 2019.


BACKGROUND:: Impairments in new learning and memory are common in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), negatively impacting everyday life, including occupational and social functioning.

OBJECTIVE:: This study examined the efficacy of the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT) in a progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS) sample through a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial (RCT).

METHODS:: Thirty (30) individuals with PMS, naïve to the mSMT, were randomized to the treatment or placebo control group. The Treatment Group completed mSMT training twice per week for 5 weeks while the Placebo Group met with the therapist at the same frequency, engaging in non-training-oriented tasks to control for professional contact and disease alterations.

RESULTS:: The treatment group showed significant improvements in learning compared with the placebo control group, evident on both objective evaluation of new learning and self-report of functioning in daily life. Increased awareness of cognitive deficits was also noted post-treatment.

CONCLUSION:: These data provide Class I evidence supporting the efficacy of the mSMT in PMS. A behavioral intervention, targeted to specifically strengthen new learning, can significantly improve memory performance in PMS, and this improvement in memory performance is maintained 3 months later.


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