Computer-Based Cognitive Training Improves Memory Domains in Multiple Sclerosis

computer and stethoscope
computer and stethoscope
A meta-analysis provides evidence that computer-based cognitive rehabilitation improves the memory in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Computer-based cognitive training may assist in improving memory in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a systematic review published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

A total of 9 studies reporting the use of computer-based cognitive training in patients with MS were included in this systematic review. For inclusion, each study was required to have reported both pre- and post-cognitive training neuropsychological assessment scores. In addition, each study was required to include an intervention arm and a placebo or no-intervention arm.

There was a significant improvement in the performance of the memory domain in patients with MS undergoing computer-based cognitive training vs controls (standardized mean difference [SMD, 0.22; 95% CI 0.01-0.43; P =.04). A trend toward improvement in overall cognitive performance in patients with MS undergoing computer-based cognitive training vs placebo or no intervention was also observed (SMD, 0.13; 95% CI -0.02 to 0.28; P =.08).  

In addition, cognitive training provided significant effects on Selective Reminding Test (SRT) delay memory (SMD, 0.58; 95% CI 0.29-0.87; P <.001) in the subgroup analysis. No improvements were found for computer-based cognitive training in the executive processing speed domain (SMD, 0.04; 95% CI -0.17 to 0.25; P =.73).

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The investigators noted that the cognitive training effects may differ in the varying subtypes of MS, yet subtypes were not differentiated in the included studies. Also, studies included computer training programs that differed in type, course length, and total training duration.

In patients with MS, computer-based cognitive training can be beneficia,l as this digital program offers “self-paced, individualized training, which sets the initial level of task difficulty according to the baseline competency of participants and gradually adjusts it as their performance is improved.”


Dardiotis E, Nousia A, Siokas V, et al. Efficacy of computer-based cognitive training in neuropsychological performance of patients with multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2017;20:58-66.