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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2017, Article ID 5919841, 17 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/5919841
Research Article

Efficacy of a Computer-Assisted Cognitive Rehabilitation Intervention in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial

1Neuropsychology Section, Department of Neurology, University of Patras Medical School, 26504 Patras, Greece
2Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Patras and University of Patras Medical School, 26504 Patras, Greece
3Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Higher Educational Institute of Epirus, Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece
4Lab of Cognitive Neuroscience, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
5Department of Radiology, University of Patras Medical School, 26504 Patras, Greece
6Department of Mechanical Engineering & Aeronautics, University of Patras, 26504 Patras, Greece
7Rehabilitation Unit for Patients with Spinal Cord Injury, “Demetrios and Vera Sfikas”, Department of Medicine, University of Patras, 26504 Patras, Greece
8B’Department of Neurology and the MS Center, AHEPA University Hospital of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
9University of Patras Medical School, 26504 Patras, Greece

Correspondence should be addressed to Lambros Messinis; rg.sartapu@sinisseml

Received 25 June 2017; Revised 25 September 2017; Accepted 4 October 2017; Published 31 December 2017

Academic Editor: Luigi Trojano

Copyright © 2017 Lambros Messinis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cognitive impairment is frequently encountered in multiple sclerosis (MS) affecting between 40–65% of individuals, irrespective of disease duration and severity of physical disability. In the present multicenter randomized controlled trial, fifty-eight clinically stable RRMS patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment and relatively low disability status were randomized to receive either computer-assisted (RehaCom) functional cognitive training with an emphasis on episodic memory, information processing speed/attention, and executive functions for 10 weeks (IG; ) or standard clinical care (CG; ). Outcome measures included a flexible comprehensive neuropsychological battery of tests sensitive to MS patient deficits and feedback regarding personal benefit gained from the intervention on four verbal questions. Only the IG group showed significant improvements in verbal and visuospatial episodic memory, processing speed/attention, and executive functioning from pre - to postassessment. Moreover, the improvement obtained on attention was retained over 6 months providing evidence on the long-term benefits of this intervention. Group by time interactions revealed significant improvements in composite cognitive domain scores in the IG relative to the demographically and clinically matched CG for verbal episodic memory, processing speed, verbal fluency, and attention. Treated patients rated the intervention positively and were more confident about their cognitive abilities following treatment.