Attention and memory training in children with acquired brain injuries

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Abstract

Aim:

To test the feasibility of the Amsterdam memory and attention training for children (Amat-c) in Swedish children with acquired brain damage.

Methods:

Amat-c consists of structured exercises in specific attention and memory techniques. Three Swedish children aged 9–16 y with acquired brain injuries and related memory and attention deficits trained with the Amat-c method for half an hour a day in school or at home interactively with a teacher or parent for a period of 20 wk.

Results:

All children and their coaches completed the training without interruption. The results showed an improvement in several neuropsychological tests of sustained and selective attention as well as in memory performance. Questionnaires filled in by parents and teachers indicate that, using the Amat-c method, the children learned strategies that improved their school achievement and self-image.

Conclusions:

The Amat-c is a valuable treatment option for improving cognitive efficiency in children with acquired brain injuries. The results indicate improved performance in several psychometric measurements. On the basis of these results, the second step will be to modify the complexity and duration of the method, as well as to integrate a reward system before further evaluating the efficacy in a larger controlled study.

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