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Brain Exercises May Reduce Types of Dementia


Posted on October 7, 2008 by DementiaGuide

Brain Workouts May Reverse Pre-Dementia Decline for Different Types of Dementia

Research indicates it may be possible to arrest or even reverse memory decline in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a pre-dementia condition that commonly leads to Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Studies have shown that a novel series of computer based brain exercises may improve memory in MCI patients. As many as 8 million Americans have MCI and millions more suffer from different types of dementia. Mild Cognitive Impairment is associated with memory loss and cognitive deficits. Each year, more than a million MCI patients develop different types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

Inone controlled study, patients engaged in brain fitness exercises or in other computer-based tasks performed brain exercises 90-100 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for an average of 6 weeks. They were given standardized cognitive assessments before and after the study. The group participating in brain exercises showed evidenceof gains in memory. What's more, gains in visual memory - remembering tasks you are shown, like how to use a remote control - were statistically significant. The patients in the control group did not show improvements in memory. They showed the same losses expected in MCI patients.

Also presented were the findings from brain scans of 15 MCI patients enrolled in the study. The scans were taken before and after the study, using PET (Positive Emission Tomography) technology. They show a decline in brain activity in patients who did not use the brain fitness exercises, while brain activity remained steady in those who did. The results of these studies provide some indication that cognitive function might be improved with appropriate stimulation.

Brain exercises are designed to improve the accuracy and speed with which the brain processes information and to the systems in the brain that control learning and memory. Working out your brain is equally as important as hitting the gym. A good brain workout has been proven to improve memory significantly in healthy, older populations and help reduce memory decline in Mild Cognitive Impariment which commonly leads to various types of dementia.

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