Therapies for cognition

What is cognitive remediation?

Cognitive impairment is an affliction for many people with bipolar disorder, and affects domains including executive function, attention, memory (particularly verbal memory), and social cognition. These deficits interfere considerably with day-to-day function.

Cognitive remediation (or rehabilitation) interventions usually take the form of repetitive exercises with or without computers and sometimes augmented by group sessions, strategy coaching and homework exercises, which serve as training for cognitive processes such as memory or attention, as well as social skills and communication. Strategy learning focuses on providing alternative strategies to compensate for the observed difficulties with cognition; in contrast, rehearsal learning is aimed at restitution of lost skills. This type of intervention is specifically targeted to particular cognitive domains which are known to be deficient in people with bipolar disorder, with the intention of compensating or improving functional outcome.

What is the evidence for cognitive remediation?

Low quality evidence is unable to determine any benefits of cognitive rehabilitation for people with bipolar disorder. Review authors report that findings were not robust due to the variety of intervention designs, the methodological limitations of the studies, and the lack of studies in the field.

November 2021

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Last updated at: 2:08 pm, 2nd November 2021
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