Can memory impairment be effectively treated?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter reviews evidence for the effectiveness of memory rehabilitation approaches that have focused on the treatment of memory impairment. Interventions targeting impairment have usually involved either the use of repetitive practice or the teaching of mnemonic strategies. Although patients with memory disorders have learned new information using these methods, generalization to materials and situations beyond the training context has seldom been found, and so there is little evidence that impairment has been reduced. Nevertheless, in the context of disability-focused treatments, there is some evidence that a general mnemonic skill can be acquired after considerable practice of functionally-relevant specific behaviors. Similarly, strategy training may be more effective when focused on real-world problems. This chapter reviews evidence for the effectiveness of memory rehabilitation approaches that have focused on the treatment of memory impairment. Interventions targeting impairment have usually involved either the use of repetitive practice or the teaching of mnemonic strategies. Although patients with memory disorders have learned new information using these methods, generalization to materials and situations beyond the training context has seldom been found, and so there is little evidence that impairment has been reduced. Nevertheless, in the context of disability-focused treatments, there is some evidence that a general mnemonic skill can be acquired after considerable practice of functionally-relevant specific behaviors. Similarly, strategy training may be more effective when focused on real-world problems. These findings, along with recent discoveries of neuroplasticity in the adult human brain suggest that further research directed at reducing impairment may be warranted. Such research should focus on people with relatively mild memory disorders and limited damage to brain regions important for memory and should target functionally useful tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Effectiveness of Rehabilitation for Cognitive Deficits
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191689420
ISBN (Print)0198526547, 9780198526544
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012

Keywords

  • Memory disorders
  • Memory impairment
  • Memory rehabilitation
  • Mnemonic strategies
  • Repetitive practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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  • Cite this

    Glisky, E. L. (2012). Can memory impairment be effectively treated? In The Effectiveness of Rehabilitation for Cognitive Deficits Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198526544.003.0012