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Brain training could improve quality of life for people at high risk of dementia

November 15, 2016

Computer-based brain training is able to help people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to improve memory, learning, and thinking skills, as well as their mood, new research has revealed.

The study, conducted by the University of Sydney, drew the conclusion from a total of 17 clinical trials with more than 700 participants over the past 20 years.

Researchers found that brain training could help people with cognitive impairment to improve their cognitive skills, such as memory, learning, and attention. They also found that training could improve their mood and perceived quality of life.

Only participants with a high risk of dementia, rather than the condition itself, saw a positive change as a result of the training.

It is thought that up to one in five people aged 65 and over has symptoms of MCI, which significantly increases the risk of developing the degenerative cognitive disease.

Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We’ve seen a lot of excitement recently about brain training to help protect against dementia. While there’s not much evidence that it can delay or prevent the condition, this review shows that it could help people with mild cognitive impairment to improve their memory, thinking, and learning.

“We’re seeing more and more evidence of the real-life benefits of brain training, helping us to find potential ways of holding on to our cognitive abilities. Now, we need to work out how we could turn specially-designed brain training into activities that are widely accessible and available.”

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