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Conceptual Foundations of a Cognitive Health Program for Hispanic Patients with Minor Neurocognitive Disorder

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DOI: 10.4236/psych.2013.410A005    2,714 Downloads   3,748 Views   Citations


The purpose of this paper is to present the conceptual foundations used in the development of a cognitive health program for Hispanic patients who report memory concerns or complaints to their primary care physicians. These models are drawn from the field of neuropsychology, both as a professional endeavor and as a scientific discipline. This program has been developed based on prevailing models of higher cerebral functions, addressing primarily attention, memory, and executive functions. The role of neuropsychologists as active participants in the improvement of the cognitive status of the patients referred to them is not only emphasized in this article as going much beyond the diagnostic process, but also having an active participation in the subsequent treatment process. The models of attention that have served as the bases for the MCCI COGNITIVE HEALTH PROGRAM are those developed by Allan F. Mirsky and Michael I. Posner, while the memory model used is authored by Alan Baddeley. The two models of executive functions that are employed in the development of this program are those of Russell Barkley and Elkonon Goldberg. This program was also very much anchored on the concept of cognitive reserve and the work of Yaakov Stern was incorporated into the models used for the development of the program. The program is implemented in two phases. Patients referred by their primary care physicians undergo a functional neuropsychological evaluation to determine the nature and extent of their memory impairments. The results obtained in these evaluations are interpreted using the models referred to above. A treatment plan is developed and the program is implemented through the use of computer assisted cognitive rehabilitation procedures. The advantages of using computer assisted procedures are discussed in this article.

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Pino, J. , Armas, J. , Dieguez, N. and Alarcon, E. (2013) Conceptual Foundations of a Cognitive Health Program for Hispanic Patients with Minor Neurocognitive Disorder. Psychology, 4, 23-28. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.410A005.


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