A self-directed brain training app may be effective for improving cognitive impairment following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), according to a study published online July 27 in Brain.
Henry W. Mahncke, Ph.D., from Posit Science Corporation in San Francisco, and colleagues evaluated the efficacy of a self-administered computerized plasticity-based cognitive training program among 149 veterans with a history of mTBI (mean 7.2 years postinjury) and cognitive impairment.
The researchers found that the treatment group showed a significantly greater improvement in the composite cognitive measure of nine standardized neuropsychological tests versus the active control group (computer games) at both the posttraining and the three-month follow-up visit. Improvements in cognitive function, both large and small, were seen twice as frequently in the treatment group versus the active control group. There were no significant between-group effects on directly observed functional and symptom measures. Both groups experienced statistically equivalent improvements for depressive and cognitive symptoms.
“This trial provides strong evidence that this specific form of coach-supervised, self-administered, plasticity-based cognitive training can be incorporated as part of an evidence-based treatment plan to improve neuropsychological measures of cognitive function in people with a history of mTBI,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to Posit Science, which sponsored the trial.