Veterans with mental illness face challenges with community reintegration, including achieving vocational success, attaining their educational goals and going back to school, and maintaining a high quality of life. VA Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs, Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Centers and other mental health treatment programs are designed to help Veterans overcome these barriers, but cognitive impairment often seen in Veterans with mental illness limits gains from these settings. Cognitive remediation interventions can be helpful, but they are either "one-size fits all," and thus may not be useful for all Veterans with mental illness, or are too narrow in scope, focusing on specific mental illnesses, limiting generalizability.
This project will test whether an objective neurophysiological biomarker, mismatch negativity (MMN), can better match the "right" Veteran to the "right" cognitive remediation treatment regardless of their specific mental health diagnosis.
This is an observational, non-interventional study. Veterans with mental health diagnoses currently engaged in, or within 6 weeks of discharge from VA Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs (RRTP), Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Centers (PRRC), and other mental health treatment settings (inpatient or outpatient mental healthcare) will be recruited. Veterans will have their cognitive functioning assessed. Following this, mismatch negativity (MMN) will be assessed via electroencephalography (EEG). Participants will undergo a 1 hour computerized cognitive training program. They will be interviewed about their attitudes about EEG and computerized cognitive training. They will be followed monthly for a total of 4 months from study entry to assess recovery trajectory. This study aims to enroll 104 Veterans from the VA San Diego Healthcare System.
The Specific Aims of this proposal are 1) Determine whether MMN is related to functioning, psychosocial recovery in VA rehabilitation milieus and programs; 2) Determine whether MMN is linked to cognition and predicts cognitive remediation exercise performance in a heterogeneous group of Veterans with mental illness. The proposal will also assess feasibility and acceptability of using biomarker-guided cognitive rehabilitation interventions in VA mental health rehabilitation settings.
Information gained from this study will help establish a precision-medicine approach towards cognitive rehabilitation for Veterans with mental illness.