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An adaptive cognitive training program could help treat attention and working memory problems in children with sickle cell disease (SCD), a new study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology shows

These neurocognitive difficulties have practical implications for the 100,000 people in the US with SCD, since 20 to 40% of young people with SCD repeat a year in school and less than half of adults with SCD are employed. Interventions to prevent and treat neurocognitive difficulties caused by sickle cell anemia have the potential to dramatically improve academic performance, job success, and quality of life

The study, led by Steven Hardy, Phré, director of psychology and patient care services at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at the National Children’s Hospital, examined a promising approach using a training program cognitive adaptive (known as Cogmed Working Memory Training) that patients perform at home on an iPad

Using a randomized controlled trial design, children were asked to follow Cogmed workouts 3-5 times per week for approximately 30 minutes at a time until they were complete 25 sessions The Cogmed program involves game-like working memory exercises that adapt to the performance of the user, becoming progressively more difficult over time as performance improves.

The team found that patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) who completed the cognitive training intervention had a significant improvement in visual working memory compared to a waitlist group who used Cogmed after the waiting period The treatment effects were particularly noticeable for those patients who followed a training “dose” of 10 sessions

“Patients who completed at least 10 cognitive training sessions showed improvement in their visual working memory, short-term verbal memory, and math proficiency,” says Dr Hardy said

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SCD increases the risk of neurocognitive difficulties due to cerebrovascular complications (such as overt strokes and silent strokes) and features of the underlying disease (such as chronic anemia) Neurocognitive effects of SCD most often involve problems with attention, working memory and other executive functions

This study demonstrates that digital working memory training is an effective approach for treating neurocognitive deficits in young sickle cell patients.We have also found that the benefits of training extend to tasks that involve verbal memory to short term and mathematical performance when patients are able to complete the program and complete at least 10 training sessions These benefits could have a real impact on daily life, making it easier to memorize and follow instructions in school and at home, organize tasks, or solve math problems that require memorizing information for long periods of time. short periods”

Steven Hardy, Phré, Director, Psychological and Patient Care Services, Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, National Children’s Hospital

To date, little effort has been made to test interventions that address the neurocognitive problems experienced by many people with sickle cell disease. These results show that the capacities are modifiable and that there is a non-pharmacological treatment

Hardy, S J, et al (2021) A Randomized Controlled Trial of Working Memory Training in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Journal of Pediatric Psychology is what jeorg / 101093 / jpepsy / jsab030

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Sickle cell disease

World news – GB – Adaptive cognitive training program may benefit children with sickle cell disease

Source: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210409/Adaptive-cognitive-training-program-can-benefit-children-with-sickle-cell-disease.aspx