This article explains how to carry out an intervention with NeuronUP for people affected with Down syndrome. The target group is adults with Down syndrome between 20 and 40 years of age. The session will be directed towards a group of 10 people.
The tool used to evaluate this group is the WAIS-III (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale). This scale is responsible for examining the measurement of intelligence: General Intelligence Quotient, Verbal and Executive Quotient (Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Organization, Working Memory and Processing Speed).
The scale was performed and a low mean score was obtained. Regarding cognitive functions, it was observed that memory was affected, especially working memory. Therefore, we proceeded to work on this area in a 60-minute session divided into 4 activities.
Objectives of the intervention in people with Down Syndrome
The main objective is to improve memory in adults with Down syndrome by performing activities with the NeuronUP program..
In addition, there are a series of specific objectives:
- Stimulate working memory.
- To enhance long-term memory, specifically episodic memory.
- Improve semantic memory.
Cognitive session in people with Down syndrome
The following NeuronUP activities have been selected to carry out the memory intervention in people with Down syndrome.
Sort the words alphabetically
Objective: improve semantic memory and stimulate working memory.
This generator consists of alphabetizing a list of words.
In this case, the activity has two game modes: free mode and correction mode. For this group, the correction mode will be chosen, so that the individuals doing the activity are aware of their mistakes and can correct them. Using this mode, 3 “lives” will be given.
Duration: the duration of the activity will be 15 minutes. During this time the participant will do the activity as many times as possible.
Matching the cards
Objective: enhance long-term memory, in particular episodic memory.
This game consists of finding pairs of cards that are face down. It consists of 3 levels (easy, medium and hard) with 3 sub-levels within each.
Duration: in this case, you can set an unlimited time or keep the default time that exists per level and sublevel chosen. Therefore, 15 minutes will be established to carry out the activity, making it possible to repeat it within the stipulated time.
- Stimulate working memory.
- Enhance long-term memory, in particular episodic memory.
The game consists of remembering the order in which the buildings are illuminated and reproducing it in reverse. This activity has 9 levels. In addition, it offers the possibility of carrying it out with or without a time limit.
In this case, the game will start with level 5, that is, an intermediate level The participant will advance to more difficult stages if they’re successful and level down if they’re having difficulty with the level.
Duration: the time established for this activity is 15 minutes, and each participant can play several times within the time limit.
Organization by categories
Objective: improve semantic memory
This generator consists of sorting elements with their corresponding categories. The activity has two game modes, correction mode and free mode. It also increases the motivation of participants by allowing them 3 “lives”, which allows greater flexibility in making mistakes. It is convenient to use the correction mode since it shows the errors and in this way the participants learn from them.
Duration: the time to perform the activity is 15 minutes and they can perform it as many times as possible within that time frame.
Conclusion on the NeuronUP intervention for people with Down syndrome
The design of the intervention has been carried out using the leading cognitive rehabilitation platform NeuronUP, which allows an intensive and personalized intervention for each participant. NeuronUP has a wide variety of activities that are very useful when carrying out a functional cognitive rehabilitation session. These activities can be customized according to the needs of each person so it is aimed at the specific client with whom we intend to work.
Specifically, the session being shared above is aimed at adults with Down syndrome, and focuses specifically on memory and its types. In this case each patient will have a computer to perform it individually, so that everyone can work at their own pace within the time set for each activity. In this way, the level of stress and frustration will be minimized.
When in doubt, they can count on the help of the Occupational Therapist, who will give them a series of hints so that they can successfully complete the activity. In addition, if the level is too complicated or if, on the contrary, they find it easy, the difficulty of some activities can be adjusted to meet the patient’s needs.
WAIS-III – Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – University of Lima [Web Site]. Ulima.edu.pe. 2020 [updated 1 of December 2020]. Available at: https://www.ulima.edu.pe/pregrado/psicologia/gabinete-psicometrico/wais-iii-escala-de-inteligencia-de-wechsler-para-adultos
NeuronUP, Cognitive stimulation and neurorehabilitation [Web Site]. Neuronup.com. 2020 [updated 1 of December 2020]. Available at: www.neuronup.us
Saiz O. PC software as cognitive intervention tools – Occupational Therapy in Cognitive Disorders [Web Site]. Ubuvirtual.ubu.es. 2020 [updated 1 December 2020]. Available at: https://ubuvirtual.ubu.es/pluginfile.php/4126743/mod_resource/content/1/Software%2C%20Apps%20y%20Videojuegos%20cognitivo.pdf
In addition to Olalla Sáiz, Mireya Platas Gutiérrez, Claudia Quintanilla Rivera, Julene Rojo Rodríguez and Lía Urcola López contributed to this article.