The Effects on Inhibition of Cognitive Remediation Therapy in Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Thursday, May 12, 2016: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Hall A (Baltimore Convention Center)
M. Hajri1, Z. Abbes1, H. Ben Yahia1, T. Brahim2, S. Halayem1 and A. Bouden1, (1)psychiatric hospital Razi, Tunis, Tunisia, (2)University of Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia

Executive impairments associated with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are nowadays well known. Cognitive remediation is a new promising technique designed to improve the neurocognitive abilities damaged in some disorders such as schizophrenia. C

Objectives: considering the overlap between ASD and schizophrenia, we aimed in our study to apply the cognitive remediation program CRT (Cognitive Remediation Therapy) for children and adolescents with ASD and to evaluate its effectiveness on planning.


Cross-sectional study involving children and adolescents with ASD according to DSM-5.The CRT program was conducted at the rate of one session per week of 45 minutes each. Outcome measure was inhibition assessed either by Hayling Sentence Completion Task or Colors and Animals Attention Test (CAAT).


Of the 25 patients included, 18 had reached the end of the program. Among them, 16 patients achieved the neuropsychological assessments tests after CRT, thus constituting our final sample. Their average age was 10, 87 years. The mean number of sessions performed was 22, 38. Ten patients were assessed by the means of the CAAT, and six by the means of Hayling Sentence Completion Task.

As for patients who performed Hayling Sentence Completion Task, the latency for sentences in part A was shorter after completion of CRT (32,8 seconds) than before it (38,25 seconds). As for part B, the latency was longer after CRT (41 seconds) than at baseline (35 seconds). Patients gave more correct responses after the program (14,8) than before it (10,33).

Concerning the CAAT, patients showed improvement on interference score which increased from 4.1 before CRT to 5,8 after achievement of the program.


Cognitive remediation can be a promising new modality in the treatment of ASD. Further research is needed to better document its effects and the optimal conditions required for setting it up.