Working Memory Study

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Patients diagnosed with brain tumors often experience cognitive changes — particularly in working memory, attention, and other aspects of executive function — after their treatment. At the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, the neuropsychology team is working closely with the neurosurgery team to develop new ways to help patients maximize their recovery by overcoming any cognitive deficits.

Low-grade gliomas tend to be diagnosed in younger adults who have many years ahead of them, especially since advances in treatments have led to prolonged survival times. That makes it increasingly important to optimize quality of life after treatment. Neuropsychological interventions can help these patients improve working memory and attention, and a new study is now evaluating whether computerized programs can assist in that recovery.

Neuropsychologists already use a technique called cognitive remediation therapy to enhance attention, working memory, and executive function.  Computerized versions of cognitive remediation therapy can broaden access to this treatment by making it available online. The neuropsychology team at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center recently published results in which a small sample of patients who had undergone treatment for low-grade gliomas showed improvement in working memory and attention after participating in the online program.

We believe that cognitive remediation therapy is an important element of post-treatment care for brain tumor survivors, and that computerized programs hold promise for making that care available to many more patients.

Find out more about the study.