Posts Tagged Attention

[ARTICLE] The Use of Therapeutic Music Training to Remediate Cognitive Impairment Following an Acquired Brain Injury: The Theoretical Basis and a Case Study – Full Text

Abstract

Cognitive impairment is the most common sequelae following an acquired brain injury (ABI) and can have profound impact on the life and rehabilitation potential for the individual. The literature demonstrates that music training results in a musician’s increased cognitive control, attention, and executive functioning when compared to non-musicians. Therapeutic Music Training (TMT) is a music therapy model which uses the learning to play an instrument, specifically the piano, to engage and place demands on cognitive networks in order to remediate and improve these processes following an acquired brain injury. The underlying theory for the efficacy of TMT as a cognitive rehabilitation intervention is grounded in the literature of cognition, neuroplasticity, and of the increased attention and cognitive control of musicians. This single-subject case study is an investigation into the potential cognitive benefit of TMT and can be used to inform a future more rigorous study. The participant was an adult male diagnosed with cognitive impairment as a result of a severe brain injury following an automobile accident. Pre- and post-tests used standardized neuropsychological measures of attention: Trail Making A and B, Digit Symbol, and the Brown– Peterson Task. The treatment period was twelve months. The results of Trail Making Test reveal improved attention with a large decrease in test time on both Trail Making A (−26.88 s) and Trail Making B (−20.33 s) when compared to normative data on Trail Making A (−0.96 s) and Trail Making B (−3.86 s). Digit Symbol results did not reveal any gains and indicated a reduction (−2) in free recall of symbols. The results of the Brown–Peterson Task reveal improved attention with large increases in the correct number of responses in the 18-s delay (+6) and the 36-s delay (+7) when compared with normative data for the 18-s delay (+0.44) and the 36-s delay (−0.1). There is sparse literature regarding music based cognitive rehabilitation and a gap in the literature between experimental research and clinical work. The purpose of this paper is to present the theory for Therapeutic Music Training (TMT) and to provide a pilot case study investigating the potential efficacy of TMT to remediate cognitive impairment following an ABI.

1. Introduction

An acquired brain injury (ABI) can result in impairment in a variety of domains including motor, speech, emotional, and cognitive. Cognitive impairment is the most common sequelae following an ABI [1,2,3,4] and is a result of deficit in one or more areas of cognition such as the various forms of attention, working memory, memory, executive function, or processing speed [5,6,7,8,9,10,11]. An individual with cognitive impairment may experience challenge to suppress distraction, remain on task, shift between tasks, follow directions, organize and initiate a response, or have difficulties with memory. Cognitive impairment can impact participation and progress in rehabilitation therapies for any of the above domains due to reduced attention, poor executive functioning, or impaired memory. The inability to attend to instructions of the therapist, to cognitively plan and organize a response, or to remember rehabilitation objectives outside the therapy session can potentially disqualify an individual from participation in rehabilitative programs or may impede progress in them. Furthermore, cognitive impairment is reported by family and caregivers as a significant source of stress [8,12,13,14]. Addressing cognitive impairment should be a priority in patient treatment following an acquired brain injury. Therefore, it is important to have on-going research into potentially effective cognitive rehabilitation tools.Music training has been noted in the literature to impact areas of non-musical functioning including phonological awareness [15], speech processing [16], listening skills [17], perceiving speech in noise [18] and reading [19,20]. Of significance to the theory of Therapeutic Music Training, the literature demonstrates the impact of music training on cognitive abilities including attention and executive functioning [21,22,23,24,25,26,27].Therapeutic Music Training (TMT) is a music therapy model in which the use of music training, specifically learning to play the piano, is used to address and remediate cognitive impairment following an acquired brain injury [28]. TMT is informed by clinical work and is grounded in literature. The hypothesis of the efficacy of TMT to remediate cognitive impairment is supported by literature regarding the influence of music training on cognition [23,24,25,29], musician’s enhanced abilities in attention, working memory, and cognitive control [26], theories of attention [30,31,32,33,34,35] and the neuroplasticity of the brain, including following injury [36,37,38,39,40]. Because of the engagement of the prefrontal cortex and the demands placed on working memory and attention during TMT, it can be an effective tool to address cognitive impairment. Although functionally interconnected, specific aspects of cognition such as working memory, attention, executive function, and memory are targeted in TMT tasks. TMT is a remedial approach to cognitive rehabilitation, that is, the goal is to drive, strengthen, and improve the underlying neural processes involved in the target cognitive areas. This is in contrast to a compensatory approach to cognitive rehabilitation, in which the goal is to provide the individual with strategies and accommodations to deal with the outcomes of cognitive impairment. The tangible outcome of producing a song provides motivation for the client to engage in cognitive rehabilitation and to remain in the rehabilitative process for an extended period of time as is required to stimulate a neuroplastic response and for the remediation of neural processing to take place.TMT is distinct from modified music education in that the goal of TMT is the remediation of cognitive processes rather than music performance. Tasks involved in learning to play the piano are designed with the goal of placing demands on the various components of cognition. The sequencing and pacing of tasks are determined by the cognitive goals with consideration to target cognitive processes and the time required to drive and strengthen the networks involved. Novelty and the gradual increase in complexity of tasks are utilized to place on-going demands on attention networks and to gradually benefit higher cognitive processes. This is in contrast to modified music education, in which the primary goal is the acquisition of musical abilities and performance.TMT is distinct from other models of music therapy in that it uses music training as the intervention for rehabilitative purposes. TMT contrasts from other music therapy models which use music primarily for expressive purposes, lack corrective feedback from the therapist, or use isolated music tasks which are not intended as music training. TMT is distinct from Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) [41] in addressing cognitive goals as NMT does not use music training in its music-based rehabilitative interventions. Bruscia highlighted the importance of the music therapist’s “non-judgemental acceptance of what the client does musically” [42] (p. 3). While the TMT therapist would express empathy and support to the client, s/he would also provide constructive and corrective feedback as required in the learning to play an instrument. As in other models of music therapy, the therapist’s use-of-self and the role of the client–therapist relationship are important contributors to the success of the therapy.Remarkably, much of cognitive rehabilitation is not grounded in the literature [36,43,44,45]. This may be due in part to the fact that rehabilitation therapy used to address cognitive impairment is most often based on a compensatory approach, accommodating or supporting the impairment, rather than attempting to remediate the cognitive processes that have been impaired. While the use of music and instrument playing for motor rehabilitation has been widely investigated [41,46,47,48], there is sparse literature investigating the potential efficacy of music-based cognitive rehabilitation interventions. This paper provides a brief introduction to the theory for TMT. This case study investigates the hypothesis of the potential effectiveness of therapeutic music training, TMT, to remediate cognitive impairment and serves as a pilot project to inform future, more rigorous studies. This investigation can contribute to the literature regarding music-based cognitive rehabilitation and inform clinical practice. There is a gap between cognitive experimental research and treatment applications [49]. The hypothesis for TMT has been informed by clinical work and this study can help fill in the gap between experimental research and clinical application. […]

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[Abstract + References] Predictors of Arm Nonuse in Chronic Stroke: A Preliminary Investigation

Abstract

Background. Nonuse (NU) after stroke is characterized by failure to use the contralesional arm despite adequate capacity. It has been suggested that NU is a consequence of the greater effort and/or attention required to use the affected limb, but such accounts have not been directly tested, and we have poor understanding of the predictors of NU. 

Objective. We aimed to provide preliminary evidence regarding demographic, neuropsychological (ie, apraxia, attention/arousal, neglect), and psychological (ie, self-efficacy) factors that may influence NU in chronic stroke. 

Methods. Twenty chronic stroke survivors with mild to moderate sensory-motor impairment characterized by the Upper-Extremity Fugl-Meyer (UEFM) were assessed for NU with a modified version of the Actual Amount of Use Test (AAUT), which measures the disparity between amount of use in spontaneous versus forced conditions. Participants were also assessed with measures of limb apraxia, spatial neglect, attention/arousal, and self-efficacy. Using stepwise multiple regression, we determined which variables predicted AAUT NU scores. 

Results. Scores on the UEFM as well as attention/arousal predicted the degree of NU (P < .05). Attention/arousal predicted NU above and beyond UEFM (P < .05). 

Conclusions. The results are consistent with the importance of attention and engagement necessary to fully incorporate the paretic limb into daily activities. Larger-scale studies that include additional behavioral (eg, sensation, proprioception, spasticity, pain, mental health, motivation) and neuroanatomical measures (eg, lesion volume and white matter connectivity) will be important for future investigations.

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Source: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1545968320913554?journalCode=nnrb

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[Abstract] Effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the performance of the activities of daily living and attention function after stroke: a randomized controlled trial

We aimed to interrogate the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on the performance in activities of daily living (ADL) and attention function after stroke.

Randomized controlled trial.

Inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

We randomized 62 stroke patients with attention dysfunction who were randomly assigned into two groups, and two dropped out from each group. The TMS group (n = 29) and a sham group (n = 29), whose mean (SD) was 58.12 (6.72) years. A total of 33 (56.9%) patients had right hemisphere lesion while the rest 25 (43.1%) patients had left hemisphere lesion.

Patients in the TMS group received 10 Hz, 700 pulses of TMS, while those in the sham group received sham TMS for four weeks. All the participants underwent comprehensive cognitive training.

At baseline, and end of the four-week treatment, the performance in the activities of daily living was assessed by Functional Independence Measure (FIM). On the other side, attention dysfunction was screened by Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), while the attention function was assessed by the Trail Making Test-A (TMT-A), Digit Symbol Test (DST) and Digital Span Test (DS).

Our data showed a significant difference in the post-treatment gains in motor of Functional Independence Measure (13.00 SD 1.69 vs 4.21 SD 2.96), cognition of Functional Independence Measure (4.69 SD 1.56 vs 1.52 SD 1.02), total of Functional Independence Measure (17.69 SD 2.36 vs 5.72 SD 3.12), Mini-Mental State Examination (3.07 SD 1.36 vs 1.21 SD 0.62), time taken in Trail Making Test-A (96.67 SD 25.18 vs 44.28 SD 19.45), errors number in Trail Making Test-A (2.72 SD 1.03 vs 0.86 SD 1.03), Digit Symbol Test (3.76 SD 1.09 vs 0.76 SD 0.87) or Digital Span Test (1.69 SD 0.54 vs 0.90 SD 0.72) between the TMS group and the sham group (P < 0.05).

Taken together, we demonstrate that TMS improves the performance in the activities of daily living and attention function in patients with stroke.

via Effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the performance of the activities of daily living and attention function after stroke: a randomized controlled trial – Yuanwen Liu, Mingyu Yin, Jing Luo, Li Huang, Shuxian Zhang, Cuihuan Pan, Xiquan Hu, 2020

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[Abstract] SMART Program in Chronic Stroke

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Long-term functional cognitive impairments are common sequelae of stroke, often resulting in decreased participation in daily life activities. Earlier research showed the benefits of training paradigms targeted at memory, attention, and some executive functions.

METHODS: The current study examined the feasibility of a functionally relevant training program called Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART). The SMART program teaches strategies to improve abstract reasoning skills and has been shown to enhance aspects of functional cognition, strengthen brain networks, and improve participation in daily life activities across clinical populations. The current study describes the benefits of the SMART program in adults (N = 12) between 54 and 77 years (64.46 ± 8.14 years) with chronic stroke. Participants had 10 sessions of the SMART program over a period of 6 weeks.

RESULTS: The findings showed significant gains in abstract reasoning (p < .05) and participation in daily activities after the SMART program. These gains were relatively stable 6 months later.

CONCLUSION: These findings offer the promise of cognitive gains, even years after stroke. Limitations of the study include a small sample size, potential confounding as a result of additional ongoing therapy, and a relatively short period of follow-up. Further research is needed to examine the benefits of the SMART program. [Annals of International Occupational Therapy. 2020;X(X):xx–xx.]

Source: Annals of International Occupational Therapy. https://doi.org/10.3928/24761222-20200116-03

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[I/Ep] Strategies to Cope With Behavior Changes After Acquired Brain Injury – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

First page of article

Behavior changes are common after acquired brain injury (ABI) because the brain processes information differently after the injury. About 62% of people with ABI experience behavior changes.1 For some people with ABI, the changes in behavior have a major effect on their daily lives, while for others they may be relatively small. These changes can make daily tasks and social interactions difficult. People with ABI may be more sensitive to stress and fatigue, which can make the behaviors described in this article worse.

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via Strategies to Cope With Behavior Changes After Acquired Brain Injury – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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[VIDEO] RehaCom introduction – YouTube

RehaCom is a modular software used for cognitive therapy. It assists therapist in the rehabilitation of cognitive disorders that affect specific aspects of attention, concentration, memory, perception, activities of daily living and much more.

 

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[ARTICLE] Effect of the Wii Sports Resort on the improvement in attention, processing speed and working memory in moderate stroke – Full Text

Abstract

Background

Stroke is the most common neurological disease in the world. After the stroke, some people suffer a cognitive disability. Commercial videogames have been used after stroke for physical rehabilitation; however, their use in cognitive rehabilitation has hardly been studied. The objectives of this study were to analyze attention, processing speed, and working memory in patients with moderate stroke after an intervention with Wii Sports Resort and compared these results with a control group.

Methods

A pre-post design study was conducted with 30 moderate stroke patients aged 65 ± 15. The study lasted eight weeks. 15 participated in the intervention group and 15 belong to the control group. They were assessed in attention and processing speed (TMT-A and B) and working memory (Digit Span of WAIS-III). Parametric and effect size tests were used to analyze the improvement of those outcomes and compared both groups.

Results

At the baseline, there was no difference between TMT-A and B. A difference was found in the scalar score of TMT-B, as well as in Digit Backward Span and Total Digit Task. In TMT-A and B, the intervention group had better scores than the control group. The intervention group in the Digit Forward Span and the Total Digit obtained a moderate effect size and the control group also obtained a moderate effect size in Total Digit. In the Digit scalar scores, the control group achieved better results than the intervention group.

Conclusions

The results on attention, processing speed and working memory improved in both groups. However, according to the effect sizes, the intervention group achieved better results than the control group. In addition, the attention and processing speed improved more than the working memory after the intervention. Although more studies are needed in this area, the results are encouraging for cognitive rehabilitation after stroke.

 

Background

Stroke is a really common neurological circulatory disorder, around 795,000 people suffer a new stroke every year and 185,000 are recurrent cases [1]. It is the second most common cause of dementia, death and more than 32% people after stroke suffer from cognitive impairments [2], and the third most common cause of disability which in five years after stroke the disabilities levels increase from 14 to 23% [1]. The after-effects of suffering a stroke can appear on a physical level, such as motor disorders [34], hemiparesis [5], dizziness, vertigo and various sight and speech problems [6]. There can also be cognitive side-effects [78], such as cognitive impairment [910] and various attention disorders [11] on a spatial cognition [12] and behavioral [13] level.

Various studies have been conducted to improve the physical after-effects and to analyze functional capacity through physical activity and motor skills [31415], and evidence has been found to suggest that physical activity leads to changes in brain structure [1617]. On a physical level, rehabilitation exercises have also been designed to recover the mobility of the affected hands and upper limbs [418], as well as botox (botulinum toxin type A) treatments to improve the spasticity of the affected upper limbs [19].

There has also been research on a psychological level [20] to analyze post-stroke depression [2122] and quality of life [223]. To improve the effects on a cognitive level, rehabilitation studies have been conducted to reduce attention deficits [11], aphasia [24] and to work on cognition to improve functional activity [2526]. The cognitive after-effects have been studied in the fields of neuropsychology [27] and neurorehabilitation [2829]. In neuropsychology, two of the most widely used instruments to measure cognitive abilities such as attention, processing speed and working memory, among others, have been the Trail Making Test [3031] and the WAIS Digit Span task [32].

Meanwhile, to decrease the affect-effects of strokes, there have also been studies on the impact of physical activity using commercial videogames, and their use in rehabilitation to control mainly physical consequences [3334], such as balance and gait disorders [3335] and effects on the upper limbs [3637]. However, there is hardly any scientific evidence regarding the use of commercial videogames to do physical activity in order to recover cognition [3839]. Hence, the main goal of this study was to evaluate the effect on the cognitive areas of attention, processing speed and working memory in people that have suffered a moderate stroke following an intervention with the Nintendo Wii Sports Resort and compared to a control group who did not receive the intervention with the Nintendo Wii Sport Resort.[…]

 

Continue —> Effect of the Wii Sports Resort on the improvement in attention, processing speed and working memory in moderate stroke | Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Full Text

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[WEB SITE] 7 signs of executive dysfunction after brain injury

 

 

7 signs of executive dysfunction after brain injury Main Image

7 signs of executive dysfunction after brain injury

Thu 26 Jan 2017

Executive dysfunction‘ is not, perhaps, a particularly well known term, but the effects of brain injury that it covers are very common indeed. It is used to collectively describe impairment in the ‘executive functions’ – the key cognitiveemotional and behavioural skills that are used to navigate through life, especially when undertaking activities and interacting with others.

 

Although executive dysfunction is a common problem among many brain injury survivors, it is most commonly experienced following an injury to the frontal lobe.

The importance of executive functions is shown by the difficulties caused when they don’t work properly and someone has problems with executive dysfunction. Since the executive functions are involved in even the most routine activities, frontal injuries leading to executive dysfunction can lead to problems in many aspects of life.

Here we list the most common effects of executive dysfunction, with some examples of common issues that brain injury survivors can face:

Difficulties with motivation and organisation

  • Loss of ‘get up and go’, which can be mistaken for laziness
  • Problems with thinking ahead and carrying out the sequence of steps needed to complete a task

Rigid thinking

  • Difficulty in evaluating the result of actions and reduced ability to change behaviour or switch between tasks if needed

Poor problem solving

  • Finding it hard to anticipate consequences
  • Decreased ability to make accurate judgements or find solutions if things are going wrong

Impulsivity

  • Acting too quickly and impulsively without fully thinking through the consequences, for example, spending more money than can be afforded

Mood disturbances

  • Difficulty in controlling emotions which may lead to outbursts of emotion such as anger or crying
  • Rapid mood changes may occur, for example, switching from happiness to sadness for no apparent reason

Difficulties in social situations

  • Reduced ability to engage in social interactions
  • Finding it hard to initiate, participate in, or pay attention to conversations
  • Poor judgement in social situations, which may lead to saying or doing inappropriate things

Memory/attention problems

  • Finding it harder to concentrate
  • Difficulty with learning new information
  • Decreased memory for past or current events, which may lead to disorientation

Find out more

If you or someone you care for is affected by executive dysfunction, it is important to seek support. Speak to your doctor about your symptoms, and ask about referral to specialist services such as counselling, neuropsychology and rehabilitation.

You can find out more and get tips and strategies to help manage your condition on our executive dysfunction after brain injury page.

Headway groups and branches can offer support in your area, and you can contact our helpline if you would like to talk things through.

via 7 signs of executive dysfunction after brain injury | Headway

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[WEB SITE] 7 signs of executive dysfunction after brain injury

7 signs of executive dysfunction after brain injury Main Image

 ‘Executive dysfunction‘ is not, perhaps, a particularly well known term, but the effects of brain injury that it covers are very common indeed. It is used to collectively describe impairment in the ‘executive functions’ – the key cognitiveemotional and behavioural skills that are used to navigate through life, especially when undertaking activities and interacting with others.

Although executive dysfunction is a common problem among many brain injury survivors, it is most commonly experienced following an injury to the frontal lobe.

The importance of executive functions is shown by the difficulties caused when they don’t work properly and someone has problems with executive dysfunction. Since the executive functions are involved in even the most routine activities, frontal injuries leading to executive dysfunction can lead to problems in many aspects of life.

Here we list the most common effects of executive dysfunction, with some examples of common issues that brain injury survivors can face:

Difficulties with motivation and organisation

  • Loss of ‘get up and go’, which can be mistaken for laziness
  • Problems with thinking ahead and carrying out the sequence of steps needed to complete a task

Rigid thinking

  • Difficulty in evaluating the result of actions and reduced ability to change behaviour or switch between tasks if needed

Poor problem solving

  • Finding it hard to anticipate consequences
  • Decreased ability to make accurate judgements or find solutions if things are going wrong

Impulsivity

  • Acting too quickly and impulsively without fully thinking through the consequences, for example, spending more money than can be afforded

Mood disturbances

  • Difficulty in controlling emotions which may lead to outbursts of emotion such as anger or crying
  • Rapid mood changes may occur, for example, switching from happiness to sadness for no apparent reason

Difficulties in social situations

  • Reduced ability to engage in social interactions
  • Finding it hard to initiate, participate in, or pay attention to conversations
  • Poor judgement in social situations, which may lead to saying or doing inappropriate things

Memory/attention problems

  • Finding it harder to concentrate
  • Difficulty with learning new information
  • Decreased memory for past or current events, which may lead to disorientation

Find out more

If you or someone you care for is affected by executive dysfunction, it is important to seek support. Speak to your doctor about your symptoms, and ask about referral to specialist services such as counselling, neuropsychology and rehabilitation.

You can find out more and get tips and strategies to help manage your condition on our executive dysfunction after brain injury page.

Headway groups and branches can offer support in your area, and you can contact our helpline if you would like to talk things through.

via 7 signs of executive dysfunction after brain injury | Headway

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[Abstract] Longitudinal Recovery of Executive Control Functions After Moderate-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Examining Trajectories of Variability and Ex-Gaussian Parameters

Background. Executive control deficits are deleterious and enduring consequences of moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) that disrupt everyday functioning. Clinically, such impairments can manifest as behavioural inconsistency, measurable experimentally by the degree of variability across trials of a reaction time (RT) task (also known as intraindividual variability [IIV]). Growing research on cognition after TBI points to cognitive deterioration in the chronic stages postinjury. Objective. To examine the longitudinal recovery of RT characteristics (IIV and more detailed ex-Gaussian components, as well as the number of impulsively quick responses) following moderate-severe TBI. Methods. Seventy moderate-severe TBI patients were assessed at 2, 5, 12, and 24+ months postinjury on a go/no-go RT task. RT indices (ex-Gaussian parameters mu and sigma [mean and variability of the normal distribution component], and tau [extremely slow responses]; mean, intraindividual coefficient of variation [ICV], and intraindividual standard deviation [ISD]) were analyzed with repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance. Results. ICV, ISD, and ex-Gaussian tau significantly decreased (ie, improved) over time in the first year of injury, but worsened from 1 to 2+ years, as did the frequency of extremely fast responses. These quadratic patterns were accentuated by age and shown primarily in tau (extremely slow) and extremely fast (impulsive) responses. Conclusions. The pattern of early recovery followed by decline in executive control function is consistent with growing evidence that moderate-severe TBI is a progressive and degenerative disorder. Given the responsiveness to treatment of executive control deficits, elucidating the trajectory and underpinnings of inconsistent behavioral responding may reveal novel prognostic and clinical management opportunities.

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via Longitudinal Recovery of Executive Control Functions After Moderate-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Examining Trajectories of Variability and Ex-Gaussian Parameters – Brandon P. Vasquez, Jennifer C. Tomaszczyk, Bhanu Sharma, Brenda Colella, Robin E. A. Green, 2018

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