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Brain Exercises Sharpen Memory in Older Adults
Date:11/19/2007

Researchers Hit Trifecta: Better at Tasks, Memory, Everyday Life

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The right kind of brain exercise enhances memory and other cognitive abilities of older adults, according to researchers presenting today at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, a gathering of 3500 aging experts held this week in San Francisco.

Dr. Elizabeth Zelinski of the University of Southern California Andrus Gerontology Center in Los Angeles, released initial data from the IMPACT (Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training) study. She is one of the trial's principal investigators.

The IMPACT Study is the largest study ever done on aging and cognitive training using a publicly available training program. In this prospective, randomized, controlled, double blind trial of 524 healthy adults (aged 65 and older), half the participants completed up to 40 hours of the computer-based Posit Science Brain Fitness Program. The other half, who followed the traditional advice that older people will benefit from new learning, completed up to 40 hours of a computer-based educational training program.

The group that engaged in the Posit Science program showed significantly superior gains in standardized, clinical measures of memory equal to approximately 10 years. This is the first research study to show generalization to untrained standardized measures of memory using a publicly available cognitive training program.

Participants in the Posit Science program also showed significant gains in how they perceived their memory and cognitive abilities. This included questions of everyday tasks such as remembering names and phone numbers or where they had left their keys as well as communication abilities and feelings of self-confidence.

"This study represents a 'gold-standard' approach to answering the questions that many people have about computerized training programs for memory,"
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SOURCE Posit Science Corporation
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