In a nutshell
This study examined the use of a cognitive training program to improve function in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The authors concluded that this program led to improvements in mental processing speed, visual memory and functional disability.
It is common for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to develop cognitive impairments. These can include problems with processing speed (time it takes a person to do a mental task), visual and verbal memory and executive function (mental skills including time management, organization and multi-tasking). These impairments can cause problems in the ability to carry out daily activities. Rehabilitation to improve these issues is necessary.
REHACOP is a type of therapy that was developed to improve cognitive impairments in patients with schizophrenia. It is possible that this type of cognitive training could be useful for PD patients.
Methods & findings
The trial included 42 patients who underwent either REHACOP or a control therapy for 3 months. REHACOP involved paper and pencil exercises designed to improve cognitive skills. These skills include attention, language, memory, and activities of daily living. Sessions lasted for 60 minutes 3 days a week.
Patients treated with REHACOP had improved processing speed, visual memory, and ability to understand what another person is feeling (theory of mind). REHACOP also led to improvements in functional disability (limitations on daily activity).
The bottom line
The authors concluded that patients treated with REHACOP had positive changes in cognition and functional ability.
The fine print
Further studies are needed to examine the long-term effects on cognition.
Published By :
Dec 02, 2014
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