28-09-2015 | Computer programme helps improve memory for children with epilepsy

'28-09-2015 | Computer programme helps improve memory for children with epilepsy' image

Recent research conducted at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada has identified strategies for improving cognition and memory function in children with epilepsy. The study published in Epilepsia this month assessed the effectiveness of a computer based memory programme called "Cogmed" as a psychological and educational intervention.

Cogmed is an online training method where the training takes place over 25 sessions for 30-45 minutes per session on a range of tasks involving working memory.

In total, 77 children with epilepsy, all of whom were on anti-epileptic medication, took part and were assigned at random to either the Cogmed group or to a control group. Both groups had standardised tests for memory and attention span administered prior to the training and seven weeks later after the completion of the training.

The results showed firstly that children with epilepsy displayed significant deficits in attention and memory span compared to peers without epilepsy, and that the effects of the Cogmed programme on the scores of that group who received this intervention were significant in the areas of visual attention span, auditory and visual–verbal working memory.

The authors Elizabeth Kerr and Melissa Blackwell concluded that the study was the first one to show the treatment effect of this intervention to reduce memory deficits associated with epilepsy, with indications of group improvement on other tasks directly after the intervention period. 

Source: Wiley Online Library