[Abstract+References] Neuroplastic Changes Induced by Cognitive Rehabilitation in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Review 

Background. Cognitive deficits are among the most disabling consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI), leading to long-term outcomes and interfering with the individual’s recovery. One of the most effective ways to reduce the impact of cognitive disturbance in everyday life is cognitive rehabilitation, which is based on the principles of brain neuroplasticity and restoration. Although there are many studies in the literature focusing on the effectiveness of cognitive interventions in reducing cognitive deficits following TBI, only a few of them focus on neural modifications induced by cognitive treatment. The use of neuroimaging or neurophysiological measures to evaluate brain changes induced by cognitive rehabilitation may have relevant clinical implications, since they could add individualized elements to cognitive assessment. Nevertheless, there are no review studies in the literature investigating neuroplastic changes induced by cognitive training in TBI individuals.

Objective. Due to lack of data, the goal of this article is to review what is currently known on the cerebral modifications following rehabilitation programs in chronic TBI.

Methods. Studies investigating both the functional and structural neural modifications induced by cognitive training in TBI subjects were identified from the results of database searches. Forty-five published articles were initially selected. Of these, 34 were excluded because they did not meet the inclusion criteria.

Results. Eleven studies were found that focused solely on the functional and neurophysiological changes induced by cognitive rehabilitation.

Conclusions. Outcomes showed that cerebral activation may be significantly modified by cognitive rehabilitation, in spite of the severity of the injury.

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Source: Neuroplastic Changes Induced by Cognitive Rehabilitation in Traumatic Brain Injury: A ReviewNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair – Valentina Galetto, Katiuscia Sacco, 2017


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