Scientific studies show: cognitive rehabilitation therapy works

In the last 20 years, there has been a growing body of research on the use of software for cognitive rehabilitation. This research has shown that cognitive rehabilitation software can be an effective way to improve cognitive function in individuals with a variety of neurological conditions, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Key Findings

The research on cognitive rehabilitation software has found the following key findings:

  • Cognitive rehabilitation software can improve cognitive function in a variety of domains, including memory, attention, processing speed, and executive function.
  • Cognitive rehabilitation software can be effective for individuals of all ages and abilities.
  • Cognitive rehabilitation software can be delivered in a variety of settings, including clinics, hospitals, and homes.

HeadApp was developed based on current scientific knowledge and therapeutic principles. Proof of effectiveness of other providers can be applied to HeadApp in the principle of equivalence.

Where do we get this belief from? HeadApp chief developer Frank Schulze was chief developer of the RehaCom team for 25 years and thus played a key role in the outcome of many studies in close cooperation with leading scientists.

You can download a brief summary of all studies on which HeadApp is based here.

HeadApp has been supplemented by the NEUROvitalis program section since 2020. The effectiveness of therapy with NEUROvitalis has been scientifically proven in numerous studies.

Many scientific studies to date show that cognitive therapy has an effect.
Research in this growing field is ongoing and expanding.

Publications on Cognitive Rehabilitation Software in the Last 20 Years

The graph shows the increasing number of studies on this subject (more than 2600 studies in the last 20 years). Visit the PubMed website and convince yourself of the growing interest of science in this field.

Of course, we cannot assess all studies here. Therefore, we try to summarize some studies as an example (no claim to completeness).

Traumatic brain injury

Meta-analysis by Cicerone, USA

A summary of many studies in the USA (meta-analysis) by “Cicerone et al.” shows the efficiency of cognitive rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury.

Central statement: “The meta-analysis revealed sufficient evidence for the effectiveness of attention training after traumatic brain injury and of language and visuospatial training for aphasia and neglect syndromes after stroke. Results provide important quantitative documentation of effective treatments, …”

The original text can be found here.

Attention training

A study in Italy observed 65 patients after traumatic brain injury. 40 of them participated in brain training, 25 not (control group).

One year after starting the training, both groups were compared: The group that participated in training showed significant improvements in the performance level of the brain. Additionally, the ability to adapt to changed requirements improved.

The original text can be found here.


Improvements in many areas

A study in Korea observed 46 stroke patients. One half of the patients trained using the computer (5 weeks, 30 minutes/day, 5 day/week), the other half received regular occupational training.

Central statement: “After 5 weeks of therapy, the training group presented statistically significant improvement in cognitive function assessment items of digit span, visual span, visual learning, auditory continuous performance, visual continuous performance, and others compared with the control group …”

The original text can be found here.

Attention training is most important

A team of researchers at Oldenburg University analyzed and assessed the effectiveness of training in case of different brain disorders including 92 patients.

Conclusion: After cognitive therapy, significant recovery in impaired cognitive domains can be expected during neuropsychological rehabilitation. However, only the specific function trained is improved. There was no evidence for generalization between cognitive domains.

The original text can be found here.

Neglect and Optokinetic stimulation

Direct the attention in the right direction

A study by Prof. Kerkhoff shows that using optokinetic stimulation (OKS) activates multiple brain regions (temporo-parietal cortex, basal ganglia, brain stem, cerebellum).
20 patients in 2 groups were examined. One group received OKS; the control group viewed a similar dot pattern without directed movement.

Central statement: “During leftward OKS the experimental group showed a complete normalization of the shift of the ASMP, which endured until 30 min poststimulation, and returned almost to baseline values 24h after OKS.
In contrast, the control group who viewed the identical but static dot pattern, showed neither change in their ASMP during this condition, nor any significant change at 30 min or 24h poststimulation.”

The original text can be found here.

Remain mentally fit

Brain training helps to maintain basic functions of everyday life

The Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (USA), Center on Aging and Health, has conducted a study over 10 years to find out about the effects of professional cognitive training on independent and vital older adults. The effects of cognitive training on cognitive abilities and everyday function were determined on 2800 adults aged 65 and older.

The participants (average age 74) of this study took part in professional brain training. A questionnaire was used to find out how well they cope with everyday life.
Ten years later, the same participants were questioned again. 60% of them said that they are able to cope with everyday life just as they did 10 years ago.
Peers without cognitive training, however, were only half as mentally fit as they were 10 years ago.

The original text can be found here.