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Journal of Integrative Neuroscience  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (2): 341-347    DOI: 10.31083/j.jin.2020.02.35
Special Issue: Advances in multiple sclerosis research
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Computerized cognitive rehabilitation for treatment of cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis: an explorative study
Irini Vilou1, †, Christos Bakirtzis2, †, *(), Artemios Artemiadis3, Panagiotis Ioannidis2, Malamati Papadimitriou4, Eleni Konstantinopoulou1, Eleni Aretouli1, Lambros Messinis5,
Grigorios Nasios6, Efthimios Dardiotis7, Mary Helen Kosmidis1, Nikolaos Grigoriadis2
1Lab of Cognitive Neuroscience, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 54124, Greece
2The Multiple Sclerosis Center, 2nd Department of Neurology, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 54621, Greece
3Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, 1678, Cyprus
4Department of Neurology, Inselspital, University Hospital, Bern, 3010, Switzerland
5Neuropsychology Section, Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, University Hospital of Patras and University of Patras Medical School, Patras, 26504, Greece
6Department of Speech and Language Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, 45100, Greece
7Department of Neurology, University of Thessaly, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa, 41334, Greece
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In this explorative study, forty-seven patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis were randomized to a custom 6-week cognitive rehabilitation intervention (n = 23) using the BrainHQTM web-based platform and to a control group condition (n = 24). Cognitive rehabilitation intervention consisted of two 40-minute sessions per week. All patients were tested with the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis battery, the Stroop Color-Word Test, and the trail making test, while the Beck Depression Inventory - Fast Screen questionnaire was used as a measure of mood and the cognitive reserve index as a measure of cognitive reserve. We used the reliable change index, to calculate clinically meaningful changes of performance, and to discriminate between responders and non-responders of this intervention. Statistically significant improvement of the group receiving treatment was observed mainly on measures of verbal and non-verbal episodic memory and, to a lesser extent, on reading speed, selective attention/response inhibition, and visual attention. Verbal memory and visual attention improvements remained significant after considering the corrected for multiple comparisons level of significance. According to reliable change index scores, 12/23 (52.2%) of patients in the intervention group presented meaningful improvement in at least one measure (Greek Verbal Learning Test: 26%, Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised: 17.4%, Stroop-Words test: 13%). This explorative study provides evidence that, at least in the short term, cognitive rehabilitation may improve the cognitive performance of multiple sclerosis patients.
Key words:  Multiple sclerosis      cognitive rehabilitation      cognition      neurobehavior      neuropsychology     
Submitted:  09 February 2020      Revised:  02 May 2020      Accepted:  06 May 2020      Published:  30 June 2020     
*Corresponding Author(s):  Christos Bakirtzis     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Irini Vilou, Christos Bakirtzis, Artemios Artemiadis, Panagiotis Ioannidis, Malamati Papadimitriou, Eleni Konstantinopoulou, Eleni Aretouli, Lambros Messinis, Grigorios Nasios, Efthimios Dardiotis, Mary Helen Kosmidis, Nikolaos Grigoriadis. Computerized cognitive rehabilitation for treatment of cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis: an explorative study. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 2020, 19(2): 341-347.

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