A working memory intervention for children following ischaemic childhood stroke

Institution: Great Ormond Street Hospital

Investigator(s): Dr. Tara Murphy, Dr. Dawn Adams, Megan Eve

Program: Cogmed RM

Background & Aim: Ischaemic childhood stroke can lead to significant physical, behavioral and cognitive impairment, such as below average functioning of intelligence, executive function, attention and working memory (WM). Deficits can further impact children’s behavior and academic and psychological functioning. Several studies have identified attention and WM to be vulnerable following pediatric stroke and arithmetic skills appear to be particularly vulnerable to brain injury with one report of impaired arithmetic ability in 60% of children following stroke. Thus, the aim of this project is to investigate the benefits of WM training on children who display WM deficits following stroke. The research asks, can implicit WM training lead to improvements of WM in children who demonstrate deficits in this area following stroke? Do improvements generalize to untrained WM tasks and tasks of attention? Do improvements in WM generalize to real world tasks e.g. academic improvements in mathematical ability? And can implicit WM training positively impact on the self-esteem of children who have had a stroke?

Population & Sample Size: N = 10 children with arterial ischemic stroke in adaptive Cogmed training group, ages 6-20 years

Design: A-B-A single case design, Test-retest