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Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2012 Oct;1(4):168-73. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2012.06.004. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Persistence of the effects of attention and executive functions intensive rehabilitation in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Neuropsychology Unit, Spedali Civili of Brescia, V. Nikolajewka, 13, 25123 Brescia, Italy. Electronic address: flaviacaterina.mattioli@gmail.com.
2
Neuropsychology Unit, Spedali Civili of Brescia, V. Nikolajewka, 13, 25123 Brescia, Italy.
3
Statistics, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.
4
Multiple Sclerosis Center, Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Neuropsychological rehabilitation efficacy in multiple sclerosis (MS) is a currently investigated issue. We reported, in a single blind controlled study, that an intensive short duration cognitive training of attention and executive functions significantly improves the treated functions and reduces depression in MS. The persistence of these effects over time are unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the persistence over time of neuropsychological improvement due to cognitive training nine months after rehabilitation onset.

METHODS:

This is a single blind randomized controlled study. 24 MS patients were randomly assigned to experimental group (n=13) and received PC assisted neuropsychological treatment for three months, or to control group (n=11), receiving no treatment. Patients were submitted to neuropsychological evaluation, depression and quality of life questionnaires at baseline, three months and nine months later.

RESULTS:

Nine months follow up compared to baseline evaluation shows a statistically significant improvement (p<0.05) in attention, information processing and executive functions tests (PASAT 3″, COWA/S, WCSTpe), in depression and quality of life questionnaires in rehabilitated patients only. reliable change index (RCI) and modified RCI confirmed the clinical significance of this improvement in rehabilitated patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Three months intensive neuropsychological rehabilitation of attention, information processing and executive functions induces a long lasting and clinically relevant neuropsychological improvement over time and a persistent depression and quality of life amelioration in patients with RR MS.

KEYWORDS:

Attention; Executive function; Information processing; Multiple sclerosis; Rehabilitation; Reliability

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