July 2016: van de Ven, RM, Murr JMJ, Veltman DJ, Schmand BA (2016) Computer-based cognitive training for executive functions after stroke: A systematic review. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, online early, DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00150
Well, what an interesting journey this has been. To be honest, I’ve never really had a good “look” at this body of evidence about cognitive recovery after stroke, and now I know why. It is full of small systematic reviews of small studies that only recruit small cohorts of participants and almost all of them conclude something similar to this one, which is: “The positive findings of most studies, including neural changes, warrant continuation of research in this field, but only if its methodological limitations”. This is a similar finding to other systematic reviews including one by Hoffman et al (Topics of Stroke Rehabilitation; 2010; 17,2) who have very similar conclusions. However, please don’t let this put you off reading the van de Ven et al (2016) article as not only does it provide a very thorough review of the potential contribution of computer-based interventions, the introduction provides a eloquent summary of the relevant evidence to date.
As usual, you’ll find the abstract and “humble opinion” under Journal Club 2016. This article is freely available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4837156/
If you have any suggestions of where to from here, please let me know before the August 2016 Journal Club is due!