“What we’ve found is that the 2 patient populations [of MS and TBI] do benefit differently. We think about learning and memory all the time. We think about situations where we may have forgotten our keys, we ‘ve forgotten somebody’s name, we’ve forgotten a phone number—those are very common memory complaints. But memory is really an end-stage cognitive process.”
As Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director, Centers for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research, and Traumatic Brain Injury Research, Kessler Foundation, and colleagues know all too well, there is great need for improved cognitive rehabilitation for patients with neurologic injury and disease such traumatic brain injury (TBI) and multiple sclerosis (MS).

This is why Chiaravalloti and her colleagues are exploring a number of novel protocols that incorporate strategy training developed over time. Thus far, the group has found success, though the benefits which patients receive vary in a similar fashion to their condition. For those with MS, processing speed is a common challenge, while those with TBI are more often faced with working memory problems (though processing issues do occur in these individuals).

In a conversation with NeurologyLive, Chiaravalloti shared her insight into the challenges that patients and their physicians seek to overcome, and what each patient group gains from the use of strategy training. She also spoke to how this research may have positive clinical impacts as well.