How Brain Games Delay Dementia
Can computer-based cognitive training programs—commonly called “brain games”—reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease? According to preliminary findings of a 10-year study, they can cut the risk by about 48% in healthy adults.
Scientists have largely rejected evidence that cognitive training programs can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s or reduce memory loss. But a large study funded by the National Institute of Aging of the NIH shows that this type of intervention may, in fact, be beneficial.
The study involved more than 2,700 healthy, older adults. Participants were divided into 3 cognitive training groups—one group received memory improvement training, one received training in reasoning skills, and one received speed-of-processing training. In speed-of-processing training, participants are asked to quickly identify objects on a computer screen. Original analysis of the study showed modest results, but according to a recent analysis, speed training reduced dementia risk in healthy adults.
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