Study provides Class 1 evidence for cognitive training efficacy in TBI

September 10, 2015

Kessler Foundation researchers published results of a randomized clinical trial (RCT) of a cognitive intervention to improve learning and memory in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) - the TBI-MEM trial. The treatment protocol, the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT), was found to improve memory in adults with moderate to severe TBI, providing the first Class I evidence for the efficacy of this intervention in the TBI population. The article, "An RCT to Treat Learning Impairment in Traumatic Brain Injury: The TBI-MEM Trial," was e-published by Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair. The authors are Nancy D. Chiaravalloti, Ph.D., Joshua Sandry, Ph.D., Nancy B. Moore, M.A., and John DeLuca, Ph.D., of Kessler Foundation.

Cognitive deficits are a common disabling consequence of that affect emotional, social and occupational functioning. As impaired memory after TBI is a result of impaired learning, rehabilitative interventions need to address the deficit in learning. This study examined the efficacy of the mSMT, a cognitive intervention, in the TBI population. Kessler researchers previously found the mSMT intervention effective in the population with multiple sclerosis.

Of the 69 participants with moderate to severe TBI enrolled in the study, 35 were assigned to the treatment group and 34 to the placebo group. All underwent neuropsychological assessments before and after treatment and at 6-month followup. Participants in the treatment group were randomized to a booster session or non-booster session group. The treatment group received the mSMT, a 10-session memory retraining protocol. The placebo group underwent memory exercises. A significant effect was found in the treatment group; no persistent effect was seen in the treatment cohort that had booster sessions of mSMT.

"We found that memory, as assessed with standard tests, improved in the treatment group. Treated participants also showed an improvement in everyday functioning," said Dr. Chiaravalloti, director of Neuroscience & Neuropsychology and TBI Research at Kessler Foundation. "This extends the Class 1 evidence for efficacy of the mSMT to people with moderate to severe TBI. Further study is needed to develop strategies for extending the positive effects of this cognitive intervention in rehabilitative care."

The mSMT protocol has been translated into Spanish and is being used in the U.S., Mexico and Argentina. A Chinese translation has also been completed for use in upcoming studies.

Explore further: TBI study shows brain activity changes after cognitive rehabilitation

More information: "An RCT to Treat Learning Impairment in Traumatic Brain Injury: The TBI-MEM Trial," DOI: 10.1177/1545968315604395

Chiaravalloti N, et al: An RCT to treat learning impairment in MS. Neurology 2013(81) DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000437295.97946.a8S

Chiaravalloti N, et al. Examining the efficacy of the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT) in persons with TBI using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): The TBI-MEM Trial. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2015 (DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000164).

Related Stories

TBI study shows brain activity changes after cognitive rehabilitation

July 8, 2015
Kessler Foundation researchers published results of their TBI-MEM trial, the first study to demonstrate significant changes in cerebral activation after memory retraining in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). ...

Benefits of modified Story Memory Technique may be adversely affected by deficit in processing speed

April 10, 2015
Kessler Foundation researchers published a subanalysis of their MEMREHAB trial, which shows that treatment with the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT) may be affected by cognitive dysfunction. Investigators looked at ...

Scientists confirm effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis

August 8, 2014
Kessler Foundation researchers published long-term followup results of their MEMREHAB trial, which show that in individuals with MS, patterns of brain activity associated with learning were maintained at 6 months post training. ...

Researchers explore impact of traumatic brain injury on longterm memory

December 1, 2014
Kessler Foundation researchers have authored a new article that provides insight into the variable impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on long-term memory. The article, "Working memory capacity links cognitive reserve ...

Study provides first Class 1 evidence for cognitive rehabilitation in MS

November 21, 2013
Kessler Foundation researchers published the results of the MEMREHAB Trial in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, providing the first Class I evidence for the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation ...

Study reports greater brain activation after cognitive rehabilitation for MS

January 17, 2012
Neuroscientists at Kessler Foundation have documented increased cerebral activation in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) following memory retraining using the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT).

Recommended for you

Team constructs whole-brain map of electrical connections key to forming memories

November 22, 2017
A team of neuroscientists at the University of Pennsylvania has constructed the first whole-brain map of electrical connectivity in the brain based on data from nearly 300 neurosurgical patients with electrodes implanted ...

To forget or to remember? Memory depends on subtle brain signals, scientists find

November 22, 2017
The fragrance of hot pumpkin pie can bring back pleasant memories of holidays past, while the scent of an antiseptic hospital room may cause a shudder. The power of odors to activate memories both pleasing and aversive exists ...

New research suggests high-intensity exercise boosts memory

November 22, 2017
The health advantages of high-intensity exercise are widely known but new research from McMaster University points to another major benefit: better memory.

Pitch imperfect? How the brain decodes pitch may improve cochlear implants

November 22, 2017
Picture yourself with a friend in a crowded restaurant. The din of other diners, the clattering of dishes, the muffled notes of background music, the voice of your friend, not to mention your own – all compete for your ...

What if consciousness is not what drives the human mind?

November 22, 2017
Everyone knows what it feels like to have consciousness: it's that self-evident sense of personal awareness, which gives us a feeling of ownership and control over the thoughts, emotions and experiences that we have every ...

Now you like it, now you don't: Brain stimulation can change how much we enjoy and value music

November 20, 2017
Enjoyment of music is considered a subjective experience; what one person finds gratifying, another may find irritating. Music theorists have long emphasized that although musical taste is relative, our enjoyment of music, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.