Epilepsy is a unique neurological condition characterized by unpredictable seizures and other health problems. But even though it is the 4th most common neurological condition and affects more than 65 million people worldwide, there are often misconceptions and lack of general understanding of what Epilepsy is.
While many people have heard of the disorder, many have an incorrect understanding of what Epilepsy is, assuming the someone with this disorder will instantly go into seizure at the sight of flashing lights.
The truth of the matter is much more complex, and the effects of Epilepsy, including seizures, are much more nuanced. As a neurological condition affecting the brain, Epilepsy can lead to changes in mood, difficulty sleeping, and even cognitive and learning difficulties, depending on the areas of the brain affected.
These less visible effects of Epilepsy drew the attention of researchers from Impulso Cognitivo and the University of Antonio de Nebrija in Spain, who have developed a study using CogniFit’s Platform for Researchers to investigate the influence that cognitive training for executive functions has on the cognitive abilities of adults with Epilepsy, and whether it can potentially mitigate these secondary cognitive effects.
The “EpiCog” Project from Impulso Cognitivo and the University of Antonio de Nebrija
Research scientists, lead by Jon Andoni Duñabeitia Landaburu and Maria Calvo recently began their investigation, working with 80 patients with Epilepsy between the ages of 18 and 60 years old, and will continue to work with the participants over a period of months.
At the beginning of the study, each participant was given the CogniFit General Assessment Battery to determine a baseline score for several cognitive abilities. After this initial measurement, participants were randomly assigned to groups. The control group were tasked with playing CogniFit games without the active training algorithm to adjust difficulty and present participants with a challenging cognitive exercise. The second group were tasked with completing CogniFit games using the unique training algorithm, providing a more challenging cognitive training regimen.
The Epilepsy Training contains 19 Stimulation Games (to strengthen cognitive abilities), 8 Assessment Tasks (to measure progress) and focuses on measuring 4 Cognitive Skills: Inhibition, Monitoring, Working memory and Cognitive flexibility.
When to Expect Analysis and Results
This unique research project will take place over the next months, after which point the research team will compile and analyze the collected data, with results expected to be ready in the summer of 2021.