Training The Brain Impacts Cognition in MS Patients.

In Brain Disorders, Brain Science, Memory and Learning by Brainy Days Ahead

Can training exercises really help your brain? New research is illuminating. A medical team at New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center finds that exercises emphasizing some aspect of visual and/or auditory speed of processing had significantly greater impact on improving cognition in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) than the computer games used as an active comparison group. The exercises contained in BrainHQ from Posit Science were used in the study. The study enrolled 135 patients at Stony Brook Medicine, who were randomly assigned to either the brain-training group or the computer games comparison group. Both groups trained for an hour a day, five days a week, for 12 weeks (a total of 60 hours). While both groups improved their cognitive function, the BrainHQ group had nearly three times the gain of the games group.  Participants were asked, as a secondary measure, to self-assess whether they experienced any improvement in cognition.  In the brain-training group, 56.7 percent reported experiencing improvement, compared to 31 percent in the games group. In addition, the computer-based cognitive remediation can be easily accessed from home.  Researchers hope that this convenience combined with the findings of cognitive benefit may also apply to other neurological conditions cognitive function is compromised. The result is especially important and welcome news for people with MS. Slow processing speeds are a signature cognitive symptom in MS patients.