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Brain Training Linked To Reduced Dementia Risk

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

A long-term study found cognitive training may reduce dementia cases and Indiana researchers were involved in this first of its kind analysis.

The Advanced Cognitive Training in Vital Elderly or ACTIVE study observed almost 3000 older adults in different types of cognitive training. Researchers set out to determine if cognitive training improves functions like memory and problem solving.

Indiana University School of Medicine professor Dr. Fred Unverzagt says this leads to further analysis.

“Those are the fundamental characteristics of dementia, would it not be likely that we would see some kind of change in the rate of dementia in people who are trained versus not trained,” says Unverzagt.

All of the training treatment was associated with reduced rates of dementia but one type was deemed statistically significant. The computer based speed of processing exercises that use increased complexity showed an almost 30 percent lower risk of developing dementia.

Unverzagt says the study merits a look at other interventions.

“To see if together these things work better than any one of them works alone,” says Unverzagt.

The study was recently published in an Alzheimer’s journal.

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