The rehabilitation of memory impairment after severe head injury: A comparison of two treatment strategies

Carlo Serrati, Patrizia Pasquali, Maria Cotelli, Alessandra Tina, Ricarda Gentile, Stefane Cappa

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Memory disorders are among the most persisting long-term impairments in patients who recover from severe head injury, and they interfere significantly with return to school or work . Memory dysfunction in these patients might reflect an underlying attentional impairment, and a significant improvement in memory abilities has been reported after an attentional training program. We repon a study aiming to compare the effectiveness of a computerbased attentional training (developed by W. Sturm at Aachen University) with memory training in patients with stabilized selective memory impairment after severe head injury. The design was multiple single-case. A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation was given at inclusion, and repeated at the end of each study phase. Each patient was submitted to two treatment periods, each lasting approximately 10 weeks; consisting of 18 one-hour session, separated by two weeks. The treatment sequence (memory training-attentional training) was randomized. The outcome measures included, besides neuropsychologicaJ testing, ecological interviews. The results indicate that both teratmcnt methods appear to be equally effective, from the point of view of both better performance in memory and attention tests and of ecological improvement. The overall level of impairment at study entrance seems to be the best predictor of outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54
Number of pages1
JournalItalian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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