Memory improves for older adults using computerized brain fitness program

August 4, 2012

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.

Explore further: UCLA memory fitness program improves memory abilities of oldest adults

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

Related Stories

UCLA memory fitness program improves memory abilities of oldest adults

August 29, 2011
Who hasn't forgotten someone's name, misplaced their glasses or walked into a room and not remembered why they entered? Normal age-related memory decline affects more than half of all seniors, and those over 80 are the most ...

How we create false memories: Assessing memory performance in older adults

November 4, 2011
A new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, published online October 26 addresses the influence of age-related stereotypes on memory performance and memory errors in older ...

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

March 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 ...

Brain workout: Older adults can take part in a USF study that is showing benefits in fight against cognitive decline

July 31, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- If physical exercise can strengthen muscles, can mental exercise strengthen brains?  And if so, for how long?

Recommended for you

The neural codes for body movements

July 21, 2017
A small patch of neurons in the brain can encode the movements of many body parts, according to researchers in the laboratory of Caltech's Richard Andersen, James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience, Tianqiao and Chrissy ...

Faulty support cells disrupt communication in brains of people with schizophrenia

July 20, 2017
New research has identified the culprit behind the wiring problems in the brains of people with schizophrenia. When researchers transplanted human brain cells generated from individuals diagnosed with childhood-onset schizophrenia ...

Scientists discover combined sensory map for heat, humidity in fly brain

July 20, 2017
Northwestern University neuroscientists now can visualize how fruit flies sense and process humidity and temperature together through a "sensory map" within their brains, according to new research.

Scientists reveal how patterns of brain activity direct specific body movements

July 20, 2017
New research by Columbia scientists offers fresh insight into how the brain tells the body to move, from simple behaviors like walking, to trained movements that may take years to master. The discovery in mice advances knowledge ...

Team traces masculinization in mice to estrogen receptor in inhibitory neurons

July 20, 2017
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have opened a black box in the brain whose contents explain one of the remarkable yet mysterious facts of life.

Speech language therapy delivered through the Internet leads to similar improvements as in-person treatment

July 20, 2017
Telerehabilitation helps healthcare professionals reach more patients in need, but some worry it doesn't offer the same quality of care as in-person treatment. This isn't the case, according to recent research by Baycrest.

1 comment

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.