Volume 6, Issue 4 (Automn 2015 -- 2015)                   BCN 2015, 6(4): 291-298 | Back to browse issues page

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1- Translational Neuroscience Program, Institute for Cognitive Science Studies, Tehran, Iran
2- Substance Abuse and Dependence Research Center University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3- Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Yale University, CT, USA.
4- Neurocognitive Laboratory, Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies (INCAS), Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran
5- Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran
6- Neurocognitive Laboratory, Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Despite extensive evidence for cognitive deficits associated with drug use and multiple publications supporting the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation treatment (CRT) services for drug addictions, there are a few well-structured tools and organized programs to improve cognitive abilities in substance users. Most published studies on cognitive rehabilitation for drug dependent patients used rehabilitation tools, which have been previously designed for other types of brain injuries such as schizophrenia or traumatic brain injuries and not specifically designed for drug dependent patients. These studies also suffer from small sample size, lack of follow-up period assessments and or comprehensive treatment outcome measures. To address these limitations, we decided to develop and investigate the efficacy of a paper and pencil cognitive rehabilitation package called NECOREDA (Neurocognitive Rehabilitation for Disease of Addiction) to improve neurocognitive deficits associated with drug dependence particularly caused by stimulants (e.g. amphetamine type stimulants and cocaine) and opiates. To evaluate the feasibility of NECOREDA program, we conducted a pilot study with 10 opiate and methamphetamine dependent patients for 3 months in outpatient setting. NECOREDA was revised based on qualitative comments received from clients and treatment providers. Final version of NECOREDA is composed of brain training exercises called “Brain Gym” and psychoeducational modules called “Brain Treasures” which is implemented in 16 training sessions interleaved with 16 review and practice sessions. NECOREDA will be evaluated as an add-on intervention to methadone maintenance treatment in a randomized clinical trial among opiate dependent patients starting from August 2015. We discuss methodological features of NECOREDA development and evaluation in this article.
Type of Study: Methodological Notes | Subject: Cognitive Neuroscience
Received: 2015/05/12 | Accepted: 2015/09/7 | Published: 2015/10/1