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Brain training may keep your brains young

Harold Mandel's picture
Human brain

Researchers have found that brain training may help to prevent dementia.


Dementia is a devastating condition which afflicts many elderly people. One way to beat dementia appears to be brain training.

It may be possible to fight dementia with brain training

The University of Sydney reports it may be possible to fight dementia with brain training. Researchers have observed that memory is improved with Computerised Cognitive Training.

In a meta-analysis it was discovered that Computerised Cognitive Training has the potential to improve memory in people who are suffering from mild cognitive impairment. It therefore appears this form of brain training may actually help to prevent dementia which can occur within a year. The researchers at the University of Sydney say that taking part in computer-based brain training can improve memory and mood in elderly people suffering from mild cognitive impairment. However, this brain training does not seem to be helpful once there has been a diagnosis of dementia.

Brain training could help improve global cognition, learning, memory, and attention

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The researchers investigated greater than two decades of research. They determined brain training could help improve global cognition, learning, memory, and attention. Psychosocial functioning dealing with mood and self-perceived quality of life was also improved in people who had mild cognitive impairment. The results were not positive from data of 12 studies of brain training in people suffering from dementia.

With mild cognitive impairment there is a decline in memory and other skills associated with thinking even though daily living skills are generally intact. Mild cognitive impairment is a very strong risk factor for dementia. There is an increased risk of getting dementia within a year with mild cognitive impairment.

Brain training consists of mentally challenging computer-based exercises

Brain training offers a treatment for improving memory and thinking skills via the practice of mentally challenging computer-based exercises. These exercises generally appear to be similar to video games. Dr Amit Lampit, who led the study, says the results have indicated brain training could play a significant function in assisting to prevent dementia. Brain training was shown to maintain or even improve cognitive skills in older people who were at extremely high risk of cognitive decline.

Scientific American reports a multicenter clinical trial of a commercial brain fitness program has made a case for why brain games should be taken more seriously. These brain training games are largely based on obvious evidence that living in an enriched environment with a great deal of mental stimulation nurtures positive brain changes.

This supports the encouraging view that we have the potential to tap into the neuroplasticity of our brain to improve mental fitness and to prevent age associated decline in memory. It seems possible computerized brain training could someday evolve into a form of cyber-vaccine which can help keep your brains young. Meanwhile while taking time to enjoy brain training with all of it's potential benefits it's also a good idea to eat a nutritious diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables and get regular exercise to help keep your brain healthy.