Interactive Brain Games Combat Dementia

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Dakim Inc. has launched a new website enabling visitors to interactively play sample brain games from its Dakim BrainFitness System, the leading brain training platform to help seniors combat dementia and memory loss. Dakim's system -- developed with prominent experts on brain health and aging -- is the first to present brain exercises in a lively game show-like format designed to encourage the sustained use considered to be a key factor in preserving brain function.

The new website at www.dakim.com includes select exercises for seniors functioning at a range of cognitive levels, allows users to play the games interactively to demonstrate the Dakim experience including creative inclusion of movies and music from seniors' youth, and follows each activity with brief on-screen appearances by Dakim CEO Dan Michel discussing the chief features and benefits of the Dakim platform.

The easiest activity in the group, designed for individuals with moderate cognitive impairment, displays a photo of a violin and asks users to touch images of different musicians to hear different kinds of music, including a few humorous notes from Jack Benny. More difficult memory games for higher-functioning seniors range from 'Famous People/Little-Known Facts,' which displays interesting trivia about people like Ronald Reagan and then asks users to match the person to the fact, to 'Keep Your Eyes Open,' which shows a Jimmy Stewart movie clip and then questions users about what they saw.

The site also includes video clips explaining the science behind the Dakim system, including discussions by Dr. Gary Small, a well-known memory/longevity expert and director of the UCLA Center on Aging; and video testimonials from some of the more than 200 senior living communities that currently use the system to help residents prevent or delay cognitive decline. The website was designed by Dakim's online agency, Kluge Strategic.

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The Dakim BrainFitness system is a touch screen-based brain training machine offering entertaining multimedia brain games developed specifically to help seniors preserve brain health. The product is the most widely adopted brain fitness system in senior living communities. A home unit will be introduced in early 2009.

Dakim's activities are based on standardized neurologic tests that have been transformed into enjoyable exercises featuring audio, video, music, humor, cultural references from seniors' past, and friendly voiceovers that both explain the exercise and provide encouragement -- even if users give the wrong answers.

This unique approach -- intended to keep users engaged over the long term -- was inspired by numerous medical research studies showing that consistent, ongoing mental stimulation plays a key role in reducing the risk of dementia. One 21-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded the risk can be lowered by as much as 63%. Researchers link these results to the fact that these activities build a 'cognitive reserve' that can help compensate for brain aging.

The Dakim system is also the first to provide frequent exercise updates as well as to self-adjust the level of challenge in real time for ability levels ranging from active seniors to early-stage Alzheimer's patients. Each 20-minute session exercises short- as well as long-term memory, critical thinking, visuospatial orientation, calculation and language for a thorough brain workout.

The machine itself has no mouse or keyboard, enabling use even by seniors without computer skills or with cognitive impairment simply by touching answers on the screen. The Dakim system can be used by most seniors without caregiver assistance because of the touch screen interface and the system's ability to self-adjust the level of challenge to match users' mental capacity as they play. The one-piece unit and online updates also simplify use by eliminating the need for software installation by care providers or home users.

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