Brain train­ing can help fight de­men­tia

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ZEST -

AUS­TRALIAN re­searchers have found that com­puter-based brain train­ing can im­prove mem­ory and mood in older adults with mild cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment.

A team from the Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney re­viewed re­search span­ning more than 20 years, look­ing at 17 ran­domised clin­i­cal tri­als that in­cluded nearly 700 par­tic­i­pants.

The re­sults showed that brain train­ing could lead to im­prove­ments in cog­ni­tion, mem­ory, learn­ing and at­ten­tion, as well as psy­choso­cial func­tion­ing, in­clud­ing mood and self-per­ceived qual­ity of life, in peo­ple with mild cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment.

Lead au­thor Dr Amit Lampit from the School of Psy­chol­ogy com­mented:“Our re­search shows that brain train­ing can main­tain or even im­prove cog­ni­tive skills among older peo­ple at very high risk of cog­ni­tive de­cline – and it’s an in­ex­pen­sive and safe treat­ment.”

Those with mild cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment ex­pe­ri­ence a de­cline in mem­ory in ad­di­tion to other cog­ni­tive skills, with the con­di­tion also one of the strong­est risk fac­tors for de­men­tia.

Suf­fer­ers have a one-in-10 risk of de­vel­op­ing de­men­tia within a year, and this risk is even higher in those with de­pres­sion.

Brain train­ing can be used to help treat mild cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment by im­prov­ing mem­ory and think­ing skills through the use of com­puter-based ex­er­cises de­signed to feel like video games that chal­lenge the brain. – AFP

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