How does Working Memory Training affect Anxiety?
An intriguing aspect of working memory (WM) is the fact that so many patients with a range of disorders include deficits in WM (traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, schizophrenia, ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc.). While early work with Cogmed has focused upon patients identified with either cognitive deficits (ADHD, TBI, stroke, etc.) or healthy clients, more recent work has moved into disorders in which anxiety is the primary deficit.
There are a few Cogmed specific studies that are relevant to this topic. One by Hadwin & Richards (2016) explored the impact of working memory training in comparison to what many consider to be the top treatment for anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy. The study was conducted with adolescents ages 11 to 14. Another pilot study investigated the impact of Cogmed with patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 4 war veterans ages 55 to 65. The study looked at Cogmed combined with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). These results are interesting and include electroencephalographic (EEG) data also.
Yet other Cogmed studies have found an impact upon anxiety like the study by Roughan & Hadwin, 2011 which found a reduction in self-reported test and trait anxiety among children with social emotional and behavioral disorders. A study by Hellgren, et al., 2015 found a reduction in anxiety and depression among adults between ages 20-65 who had acquired brain injury and Akerlund, et al., (2013) also found a reduction in anxiety with a similar sample of adults with acquired brain injury. This accumulation of data suggests the salience of working memory training for disorders in which anxiety is the primary feature or those in which it is associated with another condition.
Date: Aug 11, 2016 - Time: 01:00 PM EDT