Working memory allows for coordination of complex goal-driven behavior. Decline of working memory is linked to severe cognitive disabilities and is an important feature of both severe carotid stenosis and Alzheimer's disease. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) can help detect functional brain changes for the evaluation of the impact of standard clinical interventions for both diagnoses. This thesis used fMRI, coupled with cognitive tasks to investigate possible working memory improvements post-standard clinical interventions for both conditions. The study observed post-intervention improvements in task-phase fMRI brain activation patterns together with improvements in task performance. Meanwhile, patients demonstrated complex response patterns associated with disease expression and other individual variability, which were considered with results interpretation. This thesis showed that working memory improvements were possible following standard clinical treatments for both conditions. It also supports for tailoring interventions based on patient peculiarities to maximize treatment effectiveness.
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Thesis advisor: Doesburg, Sam
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