Boston Researchers Present Study Showing Working Memory Training in School Can Help Students with Attention Deficits

Boston Researchers Present Study Showing Working Memory Training in School Can Help Students with Attention Deficits

Boston, MA., November 20, 2007 – Dr. Enrico Mezzacappa, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, has presented findings from a pilot project studying the effectiveness of using Cogmed Working Memory Training in the classroom to improve attention in children with ADHD. The research was conducted in the Boston school system and builds on previous findings from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute that revealed a breakthrough in the way attention problems are understood and treated.

Mezzacappa studied nine grade school students who had been diagnosed with ADHD as they completed the Cogmed Working Memory Training program. Each student was screened positively for ADHD based on teacher ratings and was not receiving any form of treatment for ADHD. The students used video-game software developed by Cogmed to perform verbal and spatial working memory tasks five days a week, for five weeks.

“Our pilot study indicated that the training of working memory in school settings may be a feasible, safe, and effective way to help children with ADHD that warrants further investigation,” Mezzacappa concluded in the study. “It offers the possibility of stimulating cognitive skills that are critical to mental health, to cognitive development and academic achievement. It may also be readily disseminated through schools so as to reach many children who might not otherwise receive treatment.”

“We are thrilled that researchers like Dr. Mezzacappa continue to put the Cogmed program to the test,” said Jonas Jendi, Cogmed’s chief executive officer. “Across several recent studies, the conclusion is clear: Cogmed Working Memory Training translates to measurable improve¬ments in behavior and in the key areas for academic success for students with attention problems. Working memory is critical for learning, and it can be improved by training, properly designed and administrated.”

Dr. Mezzacappa presented the results during the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry annual meeting in Boston, on October 24th. Dr. John C. Buckner, psychologist and also of Harvard Medical School and the Children’s Hospital in Boston, is co-investigator in the study.

For more information, see the AACAP Scientific Proceedings or contact Cogmed.