The primary aim of cognitive remediation is to reduce cognitive deficits.When considering the remediation tools that are currently in practice one could compare it to brain training. However in contrast to cognitive remediation, brain training is aimed at healthy participants wishing to prevent aging-related cognitive deficits before they occur. The Brain Foundation Singapore has brain training programs employing evidence-based techniques to prevent cognitive aging.
Cognitive deficits can manifest as attention, memory, and executive function (ability to organize one’s actions and speech) disorders. Certain mental illnesses are sometimes characterized by specific cognitive deficits, such an example being social cognition disorders (which prevent the patients from understanding other people’s intentions, desires and emotions).These type of cognitive disorders highly compromise the social and professional integration of people suffering from them.
Cognitive remediation is a type of rehabilitation treatment offering exercises with an aim at improving attention, memory, language and/or executive functions.The expected result is an indirect positive impact on functional deficits affecting everyday life. Proper treatment with these therapies can help enhance the social and professional integration of patients.
Cognitive remediation is not meant to replace medical treatments or certain types of psychotherapy but rather to complement their effects.Indeed, all three types of treatment have differing effects. Psychoactive drugs impact brain receptors, where as psychotherapy impacts the patient’s image of him/herself and his/her environment, and cognitive remediation impacts the processing of information. These different therapeutic approaches can be combined and work synergistically. In short, cognition is enhanced by training one’s deficient functions or by developing those that have been preserved with compensational mechanisms. For instance,several clinically validated cognitive remediation programs are available in English for patients suffering from schizophrenia (The Brain Foundation- SBT PRO)
Cognitive remediation is also available for children suffering with ADHD (Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), people with mild intellectual deficits, people with brain injuries, and for senior individuals suffering from early stage dementia.