The role of cognitive training in the neurorehabilitation of a patient who survived a lightning strike. A case study

Tímea Tánczos, Dénes Zádori, Katalin Jakab, Zsuzsanna Hnyilicza, Péter Klivényi, László Keresztes, József Engelhardt, Dezső Németh, László Vécsei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Lightning-related injuries most often involve impairment of the functions of the central and peripheral nervous systems, usually including cognitive dysfunctions. We evaluated the cognitive deficit of a patient who had survived a lightning strike and measured the improvement after her cognitive training. This therapeutic method appears to be a powerful tool in the neurorehabilitation treatment.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this case study was to prove the beneficial effects of cognitive training as part of the neurorehabilitation after a lightning strike.

METHODS: Six neuropsychological functions were examined in order to test the cognitive status of the patient before and after the 2-month cognitive training: phonological short-term memory (digit span test and word repetitions test), visuo-spatial short-term memory (Corsi Block Tapping Test), working memory (backward digit span test and listening span test), executive functions (letter and semantic fluencies), language functions (non-word repetition test, Pléh-Palotás-Lörik (PPL) test and sentence repetition test) and episodic memory (Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test and Mini Mental State Examination). We also utilized these tests in aged-matched healthy individuals so as to be able to characterize the domains of the observed improvements more precisely.

RESULTS: The patient exhibited a considerable improvement in the backward digit span, semantic fluency, non-word repetition, PPL, sentence repetition and Rivermead Behavioral Memory tests.

CONCLUSIONS: The cognitive training played an important role in the neurorehabilitation treatment of this lightning injury patient. It considerably improved her quality of life through the functional recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-146
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Lightning injury
  • cognitive training
  • neuropsychological tests
  • neurorehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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