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BackgroundCognitive problems frequently occur in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and profoundly affect their quality of life. So far, the best cognitive treatment options for MS patients are a matter of debate. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effectiveness of two promising non-pharmacological treatments: cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Furthermore, this study aims to gain additional knowledge about the aetiology of cognitive problems among MS patients, since this may help to develop and guide effective cognitive treatments. Methods/design In a dual-centre, single-blind randomised controlled trial (RCT), 120 MS patients will be randomised into one of three parallel groups: CRT, MBCT or enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU). Both CRT and MBCT consist of a structured 9-week program. ETAU consists of one appointment with an MS specialist nurse. Measurements will be performed at baseline, post-intervention and 6 months after the interventions. The primary outcome measure is the level of subjective cognitive complaints. Secondary outcome measures are objective cognitive function, functional brain network measures (using magnetoencephalography), psychological symptoms, well-being, quality of life and daily life functioning. Discussion To our knowledge, this will be the first RCT that investigates the effect of MBCT on cognitive function among MS patients. In addition, studying the effect of CRT on cognitive function may provide direction to the contradictory evidence that is currently available. This study will also provide information on changes in functional brain networks in relation to cognitive function. To conclude, this study may help to understand and treat cognitive problems among MS patients.
ABSTRACTObjective: This study evaluates the contribution of measures for social cognition (SC), executive functioning (EF) and dysexecutive behavior to the statistical prediction of social and vocational participation in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), taking into account age and injury severity.Method: A total of 63 patients with moderate to severe TBI participated. They were administered a semi-structured Role Resumption List for social (RRL-SR) and vocational participation (RRL-RTW). EF was measured with planning- and switching tasks. Assessment of SC included tests for facial affect recognition and Theory of Mind (ToM). Dysexecutive behavior was proxy-rated with a questionnaire. Additionally, healthy controls were assessed with the same protocol.Results: Patients with TBI performed significantly worse on tests and had significantly more behavioral problems compared to healthy controls. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses for the TBI group revealed that SC accounted for 22% extra variance in RRL-RTW and 10% extra variance in RRL-SR, which was significant over and above the amounts of variance explained by EF, dysexecutive behavior, age and injury severity.Conclusions: Our findings underline the added value of measures of SC and dysexecutive behavior in the prediction of social and vocational participation post-TBI. In particular, impairments in ToM, and dysexecutive behavior were related to a lower participation making them important targets for rehabilitation.