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Brain fitness Games Improve Memory and Skills in Elderly

Update Date: Aug 04, 2012 08:19 AM EDT

A research has found that older adults can improve their memory by using a brain fitness program. The study by UCLA researchers found that the computer game significantly improved memory and language skills in elderly people.  

For the study, the researchers observed 59 participants, aged 84 on an average, recruited from local retirement communities in Southern California.

The participants were divided into two groups. While the first group used the brain fitness program for an average of 73.5 (20 minute) sessions for six months, the second group played the game for less than 45 times in the same time period.  When the participants were tested after the six months, it was found that those who played the game regularly showed significant improvement in memory and language skills, when compared to the other group. 

The findings of the study reinforce the fact that brain fitness tools can significantly improve language and memory. This may ultimately help protect individuals from the cognitive decline associated with aging and Alzheimer's disease, stated the press release. 

Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. It is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050 and is diagnosed in the population of over 65 years of age. However, the less-prevalent early-onset can occur much earlier.

Previous studies have shown that practicing mental activities can help improve memory. However, there has been very little research which have practically tried determining how effective are the numerous brain fitness games and memory training programs available in the market. 

The research was presented on Aug. 3 at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

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