The research behind brain training – Alzheimer’s Society

Clare: Brain training in any activity that
challenges the brain so this could be, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, or
playing custom-made online brain training games. The theory behind brain
training is use it or lose it, which is that the more you challenge your brain
in skills like memory and thinking the less likely you are to lose these
abilities as you get older. We’ve just completed the largest ever trial looking
at brain training so now what we’re funding a second study that will test
the same brain training package but over a longer period of time. Anne: these games are
designed to test various different cognitive abilities, things like memory
and learning, they’re particularly designed to look at reasoning because we know
that this particular cognitive ability is very sensitive as we age and it
changes the most as we get older. Jill: This research study is important to me because I watched my mum suffer with dementia and indeed my father, who was her prime carer. So I think we should actually do everything that we can to try and prevent and or cure this disease. Dianna: All forms of dementia are an illness and
illnesses can be cured. But illnesses aren’t cured by accident they are cured by research. Andrew: I was interested to
try the brain training because I’m not a gamer but I quite enjoy challenges and
quizzes and things and it was just just fun to have a go. Barbara: They weren’t easy I wouldn’t like to
give that impression but quite straightforward as they were, and also there I think extremely well
designed, in that if you do suss out exactly what you’re doing and how you
doing it right they gradually get more and more difficult to your constantly
being tested and being made to do a little bit better Anne: This is the second step a
really large study looking at whether brain training games can help older
adults, people over 50, to maintain their cognition as they get older. We’re really
looking to see whether we can engage people over the long term and keep the
benefits that we’ve already seen with these games. Clare: Online brain training is rapidly
growing into a multi-million pound industry but there’s still not enough
research evidence to show what these brain training packages can do in the long
term. Research studies like this are essential to
find out whether regularly taking part in brain training can help older people to
maintain cognitive skills such as memory and thinking as they get older and
whether these packages have any effect on the risk of developing dementia. Anne: This study is open to all adults over 50 in the UK so long as they have a computer
and access to the Internet unfortunately we can’t involve anyone
who has a diagnosis of dementia. Anyone who wants to get involved go to the study website, register, and get
involved today.

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