Exercise Your Mind with Computer “Speed Training”
There’s extremely good news out there for reducing the risk of dementia without the use of drugs. There has been a lot of talk lately about the role that brain training can play in lowering the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have looked at factors like education, social engagement, and the amount of new learning that older people do as possible things that may help.
But the variety of different ways that people studied this cognitive stimulation has left more questions than answers. Now, in the most rigorous study to date, researchers compared different types of cognitive training head to head and report that a speed-processing-based training can indeed lower rates of cognitive decline and dementia. The researchers were led by Jerri Edwards, from the University of South Florida,.
It’s a computer brain exercise called “speed training” that beats out memory and reasoning exercises – all of which get users to visually process information quicker. In fact, a ten year study revealed speed training can potentially cut the risk of developing dementia by 48% ten years later.
The results of the study named Active – for Advanced Cognitive Training in Vital Elderly, were released last Sunday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto.
In the study, the people were trained for five weeks and the effects seemed to last for at least 10 years. Exactly how often people should be taking advantage of the training, and how durable the effects are, still aren’t clear. But Edwards hope to continue to study that in future trials. For now, she says, it couldn’t hurt to keep your brain sharp by training it, like any other muscle, to take in and process information as efficiently as possible.
The good news: the computer “speed training” brain exercise is available for subscription, online, right now. It’s a program called “Double Decision Exercise” offered by Brain HQ which licensed the training from the researchers who created it.