Computerized Working Memory Training Improves Function in Adolescents Born at Extremely Low Birth Weight

Institution: St. Olav’s University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway

Title: A Controlled Trial of Working Memory Training for Children and Adolescents with ADHD

Researcher(s): Gro C. C. Løhaugen, Ida Antonsen, Asta Haberg, Arne Gramstad, Torstein Vik, Ann-Mari Brubakk, and Jon Skranes

Program: Cogmed RM

Published: The Journal of Pediatrics, December 2010

Summary

This study examined the efficacy of Cogmed training on children and adolescents who were born preterm with extremely low birth weight (ELBW). Due to the prevalence of perinatal brain damage, ELBW children are at risk for attention and executive functions problems later in life, often translating to poor academic performance and behavioral problems. These children usually have a working memory deficit which contributes to the problems they have later in life.

The researchers aimed to determine if working memory could be improved in this population, if the improvements translated to other memory functions and learning ability, and if the results had long term benefit. All results were compared to a control group.

The results showed that the children examined were able to improve non-trained working memory tasks following the program. They also found the training to generalize to verbal learning ability and that the results remained stable six months after training.

The researchers concluded that Cogmed was an “effective intervention tool for improving memory and reducing core learning deficits in adolescents born at ELBW”.

Link to abstract