Monday, February 3, 2014

Brain Training to Stay Sharp #1

It always surprises me when I hear people poo-poo the concept of “brain training to stay sharp.” A colleague of mine, Tom Butler, isn't one of them. Last month he surprised me (a great early birthday gift) with information about  a study known as the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE).  For those of you who are on board with the research about slowing the onset of symptoms of aging, findings of the ACTIVE study were recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. And, for those of you who are actually doing 30 minutes of challenging brain exercises every day, this might just help motivate you to keep doing it! The study involved a federally sponsored trial of 2,832 adults with an average age of 74 when they began the program. The goal was to evaluate how three brain training programs focusing on processing speed, memory, and reasoning ability impacted cognitively normal adults as they aged. Note: the training consisted of 10-12 sessions lasting 60-75 minutes each. We’re not talking about 30 minutes of challenging brain exercise a day for the rest of your life; just 10-12 sessions. The results of the study tomorrow.

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