Memory improves for older adults using computerized brain fitness program

UCLA researchers found that older adults who regularly used a brain fitness program played on a computer demonstrated significantly improved memory and language skills.

The team studied 59 participants with an average age of 84, recruited from local retirement communities in Southern California. The volunteers were split into two groups: the first group used a brain fitness program for an average of 73.5 (20 minute) sessions across a six-month period while a second group played it less than 45 times during the same period. Researchers found that the first group demonstrated significantly higher improvement in memory and language skills, compared to the second group.

The study's findings add to the field exploring whether such brain fitness tools may help improve language and memory and may ultimately help protect individuals from the associated with aging and Alzheimer's disease.

Age-related affects approximately 40 percent of older adults and is characterized by self-perception of memory loss and decline in memory performance. Previous studies have shown that engaging in mental activities can help improve memory, but little research has been done to determine whether the numerous games and programs on the market are effective in improving memory. This is one of the first studies to assess the cognitive effects of a computerized memory training program.

The study also received a Blue Ribbon Award from the during the organization's annual convention held this week. The Blue Ribbon Awards are based on independent, blind review and scored on methodological rigor, merit, and potential impact on the science and practice of clinical neuropsychology.

More information: The research was presented Aug. 3 at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Computer exercises improve memory and attention

Feb 11, 2009

Study results to be published in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society show that computerized brain exercises can improve memory and lead to faster thinking.

Use it or lose it: Mind games help healthy older people too

Mar 27, 2012

Cognitive training including puzzles, handicrafts and life skills are known to reduce the risk, and help slow down the progress, of dementia amongst the elderly. A new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal ...

Recommended for you

'Microlesions' in epilepsy discovered by novel technique

Dec 16, 2014

Using an innovative technique combining genetic analysis and mathematical modeling with some basic sleuthing, researchers have identified previously undescribed microlesions in brain tissue from epileptic ...

Thumbs-up for mind-controlled robotic arm (w/ Video)

Dec 16, 2014

A paralysed woman who controlled a robotic arm using just her thoughts has taken another step towards restoring her natural movements by controlling the arm with a range of complex hand movements.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

derfolo
not rated yet Aug 04, 2012
Well, which program did they use? Seems fairly relevant, given the "numerous" such games available.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.