Computerized Cognitive Training for Children with Sickle Cell Disease: A Pilot Study

Institution: Duke University

Investigator(s): Melanie J. Bonner, Ph.D., Courtney Thornburg, M.D., Taryn M. Allen, M.A., Lindsay M. Anderson, M.A.

Program: Cogmed RM

Background & Aim: Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects approximately one in every 400-500 African American newborns in the US. Research has consistently documented higher rates of cognitive deficits among children with SCD. Cognitive deficits in children with SCD are significant and progressive. There is a decrease in cognitive functioning between 12 and 24 months of age and evidence of deficits in attention and executive functioning in preschool-aged children. Further, children with SCD have higher rates of enrollment in special education services than peers and are likely to struggle with academic achievement throughout school. By young adulthood, these deficits are also associated with fewer vocational opportunities and difficulty with independent living. The goal of the current proposal is to establish feasibility of, and compliance with, the Cogmed intervention in a small sample of young people with SCD.

Population & Sample Size: N = 24 individuals with SCD, ages 8 -16 years old

Design: Randomized, Waitlist controlled, Test-retest, Post-waitlist Training Follow Up