JVS Toronto Introduces Program Proven to Improve Working Memory For Children, Teens and Adults with Attention Deficits

JVS’ Psychological Services first site to offer software-based training program in Canada.

TORONTO, ON – Monday, November 12, 2007 – JVS Toronto (www.jvstoronto.org) will launch today Cogmed Working Memory Training, a software-based training program scientifically proven to help children, teens and adults improve attention problems. Dr. Torkel Klingberg, professor of neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute and co-founder of Cogmed Working Memory Training will introduce the training program in a presentation entitled “Working Memory Training – Transforming Breakthrough Research into Clinical Practice” at 10:30 am – 12:00 pm on Monday, November 12, at the Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Ave. West, Toronto. Joining Dr. Klingberg is Dr. Rosemary Tannock, Canada Research Chair, Special Education and Adaptive Technology, OISE and Hospital for Sick Children who will lecture on “Understanding the Impact of Inattention and Working Memory on Learning”.

Working memory problems affect a wide range of individuals who experience attention deficits, such as children and adults with ADHD and learning disabilities, as well as people who have had a stroke or a traumatic brain injury. Working memory is used in everyday tasks, such as reading, doing math and performing basic organizational activities. Working memory is crucial for control of attention and thus the ability to concentrate. Research into academic performance shows that working memory deficits lower performance at school.

Scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden — known for its cutting-edge medical research — developed Cogmed Working Memory Training based on breakthrough research showing that it’s possible to improve working memory through training. Their research, published in leading scientific journals, indicates the training is helpful for at least 80 percent of those who complete the program.

The Cogmed Working Memory Training Program has been used extensively in Europe and the United States. After development and use in Europe, an adult extension of this program has been introduced in the North America. The training program takes five weeks and can be administered at home. A personal coach assists clients, talking with them in person or over the phone. The training helps improve individuals’ ability to concentrate, control impulsive behaviour, use complex reasoning to solve problems and improve academic performance in reading comprehension and math. To date, more than 1,400 youngsters in Europe and the United States have completed the program. Cogmed Working Memory Training is a home-based computerized program backed by peer-reviewed studies published in leading neuroscience journals, including more than 10 studies conducted to date or in progress in Europe and the United States.

“The scientific evidence is convincing: working memory is a skill that can be improved through training, and the effects on attention, concentration and reasoning ability are impressive and long-lasting,” says Dr. Reena Kronitz, Director and Chief Psychologist, Psychological Services, JVS Toronto. “Our experience offering the Cogmed Working Memory Training program at JVS Toronto has been consistent with the research. The results obtained by our clients have been very positive.”

About JVS Toronto
JVS Toronto is a non-profit community organization that offers a wide range of psychological, career, employment and training services to children, adolescents and adults. JVS’ Psychological Services are designed to help people of all ages reach their full potential and make realistic decisions about their future education, training and/or career.

For more information, please contact: Amanda Batchelor, Marketing Dept., JVS Toronto, 416-787-1151, ext. 287 or Dr. Reena Kronitz, Director and Chief Psychologist, JVS Toronto, 416-787-1151, ext. 214.