There is good news for older adults looking to improve their memory and language skills. A research team out of UCLA found that older adults who regularly engaged with a computerized brain-fitness program showed a significant increase in memory and language skills.
For the study, subjects were recruited to participate in a computerized brain-fitness program called Dakim BrainFitness, which offers over 400 exercises to support short-term and long-term memory, language, visual-spatial processing, reasoning, problem-solving, and calculation skills. The participants were recruited from retirement homes in southern California. They were 82 years old on average and all were dementia-free.
The 69 participants were asked to work through 20-minute sessions of the brain-fitness program over a six-month period. Subjects who completed at least 40 of the modules showed significant improvement in language skills and in immediate and delayed memory skills.
Although a number of studies have been conducted about brain-fitness and its effects on the minds of older-adults, there have been relatively few that focus on using computers or games to maintain mental acuity while aging. Around 40% of older adults experience memory decline, so it is important that research is conducted to ascertain ways to aid this population.
This study is one of the few to document the benefits of using computerized brain-fitness programs. It builds on past studies to help find ways to safeguard the mind against the ravages of age generally and Alzheimer’s disease in particular.
This study will be published in the July edition of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
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