SMART ‘brain training’ could help improve quality of life for those living with MS

Monday, December 6, 2021 - 10:45

Dr. Bryan Roche, of the Department of Psychology, MU will serve as a collaborator on a National Institute for Health Research (NHS) project examining the efficacy of SMART intellectual Skill training for alleviating some of the cognitive impacts of Multiple Sclerosis.  The SMART programme was developed within the Department of Psychology at MU by Dr. Bryan Roche and Dr. Sarah Cassidy, and is currently offered online by the MU campus company  

On the back of a series of recent independently published studies into the efficacy of this programme for increasing general cognitive ability, the current NIHR-funded study will consist of a randomized controlled feasibility trial of SMART under the care of the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.   

The project is lead by Dr. Nima Moghaddam at the University of Lincoln.  Dr Moghaddam will be leading a multi-disciplinary team from across the University of Lincoln and the Institute of Mental Health, with leading cognition experts from the Nottingham MS Research Group. Dr Moghaddam explains the importance of this trial for NHS services:

“Our planned research will fill the evidence gap through developing – and examining the feasibility of trialling – an online cognitive rehabilitation programme for people living with MS. 

“This highly accessible and low-resource intervention holds promise for improving the effectiveness of NHS services – with potential to benefit patients and provide value for money – but we must first ensure that it is suitable for people with MS and address key feasibility questions, to maximise the success-potential of future trials.”

The study will recruit adults with a diagnosis of MS who are experiencing problems with thinking skills from clinics in Lincoln and Nottinghamshire. The project team also includes patient-partners (researchers who are living with MS), who will bring a unique perspective and understanding to the project.

The project is funded by the NIHR’s Research for Patient Benefit programme for 28 months beginning in Summer 2021.

See full press release here: