An RCT to treat learning impairment in multiple sclerosis: The MEMREHAB trial

This doubled blinded, placebo-controlled, randomised trial, examined the efficacy of the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT). This is a 10 session behavioural intervention teaching context and imagery to improve learning and memory abilities in subjects with MS.

The study included 86 subjects with clinically definite MS, with 41 in the treatment group and 45 in the placebo group. At baseline, subjects had a full neuropsychological assessment which included assessment of everyday memory, a repeat assessment post-treatment and a long-term follow-up assessment 6 months post treatment.

When the treatment phase was completed, people in the treatment group were assigned to either a booster session or not to see if the monthly booster session helped the treatment effect over time.

Results showed that the treatment group showed a significantly improved learning slope relative to the placebo group post-treatment. The same was demonstrated with objective measures of everyday memory, general contentment and family report of apathy and executive dysfunction. The long term follow-up data showed that the benefit seen in the treatment group continued to be noted on the list learning and self-reported measures.

Authors: Chiaravalloti ND, Moore NB,
Source: Neurology. 2013 Nov 8. [Epub ahead of print]
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