Rehabilitation of cognitive disorders

Stefano F. Cappa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Many different rehabilitation approaches have been suggested for the treatment of cognitive disorders due to neurological diseases. Two main types of rationale have been applied to the rehabilitation of cognitive disorders. The 'restitution' or 're-teaching' approach consists of the training of lost or damaged abilities by means of extensive practice. On the other hand, the indirect (compensation) approach promotes the use of 'back-up' strategies based on the patient's residual resources. In the latter case, the aim of the treatment is not to restore the function of the impaired cognitive component, but rather to exploit the preserved abilities to compensate for the deficit. The evidence about the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation is limited. The clinical presentations of cognitive disorders are extremely heterogeneous. Several factors, such as dosage, frequency of intervention, etc., are more difficult to standardize for a behavioural treatment than in the case of a pharmacological therapy. This chapter summarizes some of the treatment approaches, organized according to the area of intervention, and briefly comments on the available evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCognitive Neurology: A Clinical Textbook
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780191724213, 9780198569275
Publication statusPublished - Mar 22 2012


  • Cognitive disorders
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Impaired cognitive component
  • Neurological diseases
  • Residual resources
  • Restitution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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