“Many of the things that we’re teaching patients to use are things that we implement in our daily lives…One of the techniques we utilize in our memory rehabilitation protocols is self-testing...[which] is actually used very commonly in the educational system.”

As Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director, Centers for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research, and Traumatic Brain Injury Research, Kessler Foundation, pointed out in a conversation with NeurologyLive, the literature is quite robust on the use of cognitive rehabilitation techniques in healthy individuals. While she and colleagues are applying these techniques to those with neurological injury or illness, she noted their roots in daily life.

Many patients are encouraged to engage in practices such as self-tests for memory—similar to how school children are quizzed in class—and spaced learning—the separating of time between repetitions of information to maximize retention. These tactics, while being developed specifically for those with traumatic brain injury or multiple sclerosis at Kessler Foundation, are derived from activities that healthy individuals partake in to maximize memory as well.

Chiaravalloti shared her insight with NeurologyLive on these tactics and what everyday life tasks they are comparable to, and how patients are benefitting from them.