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'Brain training' may lessen cognitive impairments associated with coronary bypass surgery
Date:9/17/2012

This release is available in French.

Each year in Quebec, nearly 6000 people undergo coronary bypass surgery. Recovery is long and quality of life is greatly affected, in particular because most patients experience cognitive deficits that affect attention and memory for weeks or even months after the surgery. However, cognitive training helps to significantly reduce these postoperative complications according to a study that will be presented by Dr. Louis Bherer, PhD (Psychology), a laboratory director and researcher at the Institut universitaire de griatrie de Montral (IUGM), an institution affiliated with Universit de Montral at the Socit Franaise de Mdecine Physique et de Radaptation symposium in Toulouse, on October 20. He is also the Canada Research Chair in Aging and the Prevention of Cognitive Decline and a professor at Universit du Qubec Montral. The study was carried out with his student milie de Tournay-Jett and codirected by Dr. Gilles Dupuis from Universit du Qubec Montral (UQAM).

Speeding up recovery and improving quality of life

This study demonstrated that patients suffering from cognitive deficits after coronary bypass surgery could greatly benefit from cognitive training that targets both attention and memorythe cognitive functions most affected after this type of operation. "It is clear that seniors' brains have a certain degree of plasticity," Dr. Louis Bherer commented, "as we observed improvement in memory and attention even in subjects who did not undergo this training. In my opinion, this is a very useful discovery, as it suggests that patients should receive cognitive training in addition to the usual medical follow-up." What's more, benefits from the training are maintained over time.

Dr. Bherer wanted to know whether these subjects' brains maintained plasticity despite the patients' advanced age, in other words, w
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Contact: William Raillant-Clark
w.raillant-clark@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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