Targeted cognitive game training enhances cognitive performance in multiple sclerosis patients treated with interferon beta 1-a

Shay Menascu, Roy Aloni, Mark Dolev, David Magalashvili, Keren Gutman, Sapir Dreyer-Alster, Franck Tarpin-Bernard, Ran Achiron, Gil Harari, Anat Achiron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Prevention of cognitive decline in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is of major importance. We explored the effect of a 6 months computerized game training program on cognitive performance in MS patients with mild cognitive impairment. Methods: This was a single-center, randomized prospective study. We enrolled in this study 100 eligible MS patients treated with Interferon-beta-1a (Rebif). All had mild cognitive impairment in either executive function or information processing speed. Patients were randomized 1:1 to either use the cognitive games platform by HappyNeuron (HN) or receive no intervention. Executive function and information processing speed scores were measured at 3 and 6 months from baseline to evaluate the effect of game training on cognitive scores. Results: In both executive function and information processing speed, the game Training group showed significant improvement after 3 and 6 months. The Non-Training group showed mild deterioration in both domains at 3 months, and further deterioration that became significant at 6 months in executive function. Furthermore, at 6 months, the percent of patients in the Training group that improved or remained stable in both cognitive domains was significantly higher compared to the Non-Training group. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that cognitive game training has a beneficial effect on cognitive performance in MS patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment. While further evaluation is required to assess the longevity of that effect, we nonetheless recommend to MS patients to be engaged in cognitive gaming practice as part of a holistic approach to treating their condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number175
JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Executive function
  • Games
  • Information processing speed
  • Interferon-beta-1-a
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Plasticity
  • Training

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