Computerized training of working memory in a group of patients suffering from acquired brain injury

Brain Inj. 2010;24(10):1173-83. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2010.498007.


Objective: Study short- and long-term transfer effects of a computerized working memory (WM) training programme for patients suffering from working memory deficits after acquired brain injury.

Research design: A controlled experimental study with a cross-over design.

Methods: A consecutive sample of 21 subjects. Mean age 43.2 years, time since injury/illness onset 37 months (median). The subjects were randomly selected into two groups where one group served as controls. All subjects trained daily for 5 weeks in a computer WM task program. They were followed-up at 4 and 20 weeks after the training.

Results: A significant improvement in the trained WM tasks, significant improvements in neuropsychological WM-test results at 4 and 20 weeks after training compared to baseline. Improvement in the subjects' rated occupational performance and satisfaction with performance in pre-defined occupational problems. Rated quality-of-life did not change. However, rated overall health increased 20 weeks after training.

Conclusions: Structured and intense computerized WM training improves subjects' cognitive functioning as measured by neuropsychological WM-demanding tests, rated occupational performance, satisfaction with performance and rated overall health. The training probably has an impact on the rehabilitation outcome, returning to work, as well as on daily activities for individuals with verified WM impairments.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Memory Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Software
  • Sweden
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome